When David Backes takes a hard high hit that leaves him in a pile on the ice, it’s a disturbing sight. Not only because he’s the one that’s usually administering those hits, but because of his history with concussions.
He took one such hit from William Carrier of the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Backes was trying to gain the red line for a dump-in, and awkwardly lurched his body forward. He had released the puck when Carrier hit him on the backcheck.
Backes flew backwards and crashed to the ice. He remained down for a bit, and needed help to the dressing room with about five minutes left in the first period. Backes didn’t come out for the second period, and it was announced he wouldn’t return.
Carrier went to the box for an illegal check to the head; when he emerged from said box, Adam McQuaid was waiting to play the role of enforcer:
They both managed to throw some punches but, yet again, McQuaid was prevented from doing his job by the linesmen. McQuaid and Carrier were both given five for fighting, and McQuaid was given an instigator and a misconduct.
Now, about the hit on Backes: The on-ice officials deemed it a ‘Rule 48’ infraction, but that doesn’t mean the Department of Players Safety will see it the same way. We’d like to see a more definitive angle, because from the looks of things Carrier may have got him in the chest, although Backes’ head violently jerked back.
We’re sure it’s being scrutinized by the NHL as we speak …