Morning Free Association: January 10

Ahead of tonights matchup in St. Louis, Amalie Benjamin wrote about David Backes’ emotional return to the team that drafted him, the city where he grew up playing hockey.

One of Backes’ concerns when he suffered a concussion, the third documented of his career, was that he might not make it back to the lineup before that game. However, it was clear that he wasn’t going to rush himself back, no matter how much he wanted to play.

“I think health is first and foremost,” Backes said. “If I were to miss that game, then there’s maybe next [year] or whenever; it’ll happen sooner or later. But I think once your health’s in order, it’s back on the radar. There’s certainly not a chance I’d be pushing it to get back extra early to go play in that game. You get one brain. It’s not worth it.”

The significance of his return to St. Louis is not lost on Backes, nor his former team, the Blues. It turns out that they saved their annual charity event, one that he started with his wife (their charity work truly is fantastic), Barkin’ for the Blues for his return, so he would be able to take part.

He would really show them that Tuesday, though, he knew. He has seen players come back to their former teams, seen the receptions, the video tributes, the responses. He knows some of that might be waiting for him. He knows that the Blues saved their annual charity event “Barkin’ for Blues,” one started by Backes and his wife to benefit Athletes for Animals, for Jan. 10, when he would be back in town to share it.

He knows there will be feelings.

“As if we didn’t need any more emotion thrown into it, that [event] is going to be that night, and my wife and daughter are flying in,” Backes said. “There will be plenty going through your head, but like when [the Blues] were here, I want to stay in the moment, I want to enjoy every second of it.”

Of course, this visit to St. Louis will be involve getting together with former teammates, other friends from St. Louis and he recognizes that he will not get to spend the appropriate amount of time with everyone as he would like:

“I’ve had so many people reach out to me already to ask me what my time’s being consumed by while I’m in town and trying to reconnect and all those great relationships that we made while we were there, trying to get a little piece of that,” Backes said.

“It’s kind of analogous to my wedding day, when you’ve got 300 people that you want to spend time with, all of them at once, but you only have so much time to allocate and how you’re going to divvy that up. In the end, I imagine it’s going to be a similar feeling where it’s like, whew, that went by so fast. I didn’t get to talk to that person or that person or that person. In the end, it’s enjoyable, but it’s never long enough to really connect again with everybody that was so kind to me in 10 years.”

Of course, when it comes time for the video tribute, David will prepare himself as much as possible:

“That might put me over the top, no matter what’s happening in the moment,” Backes said. “May need a couple shifts off from Claude [Julien].”

Maybe a tissue stashed on the bench, it is suggested.

“Maybe,” he said, “a full Gatorade towel.”

Other Davids return from concussion on Saturday has brought new life to the team. He scored a goal in each of the back-to-back games this weekend, bringing his season total to 11. Hopefully, he scores at least one more against his former team tonight.

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The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

Nc Weather folks

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

DAMN! From Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon alone, there’s a 45 degree swing in ≈12 hours!

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

YUP!

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

comment image?oh=4d94d3faa00d3c679aa9df16e7377181&oe=591879B0

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

And it seems C. Miller was a one game thing.

#NHLBruins defense in AM skate:
Chara—Carlo
Krug—McQuaid 
K. Miller—C. Miller
Liles—Morrow

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 10, 2017

phonymahoney
Editor

comment image#5

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Spooner at center!

NHLBruins lines in AM skate:
Marchand—Bergeron—Pastrnak
Vatrano—Krejci—Backes
Schaller—Spooner—Nash
Czarnik/Hayes—Moore—Blidh

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 10, 2017

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin

So everybody on Claude’s shit list from last game drops down a line?

The London Bear
Member

Hopefully Czarnik/Hayes means Czarnik.

I like that as a fourth line – Moore’s hockey sense and Czar’s speed could be a scoring combo, although a bit concerned about splitting up 59-28-20 after their performances in the back-to-back…

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I share your concern, but they need to try something!!

The London Bear
Member

phonymahoney
Editor

Pastrnak got SNUBBED.

The BOB
Member
The BOB

Ehh… not really unless you’re dropping Marchand off the team for him. Hard to argue against any of the other double-entrants in the Atlantic.

phonymahoney
Editor

Given the number of goals he scored, I would say it’s a snub, and yeah, I’d probably put him in over Marchand.

The London Bear
Member

Maybe there’s a recency bias – Marchy done much more lately. Plus there was his World Cup heroics.

The BOB
Member
The BOB

I think that’s it. Pastrnak has definitely gone quite while Marchand has seemingly upped his game. Also had the stronger year as a whole and we know the NHL looks at that as well as current season stats.

In addition to World Cup performance, have to think the age plays a part. Pastrnak is expected to have more opportunities, Marchand not so much.

Good news for Bruins though since I think the ASG nod would get Pasta a bonus and would give leverage for contract negotiations.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Definitely goes back to your point about the new rosters being tough and too many deserving players and too few spots.

The BOB
Member
The BOB

Yeap, and made all the worse in the East with the 8 teams. Chicago got 4 on the team (Keith, Toews, Kane, Crawford) but they have an extra slot so a bit easier.

The BOB
Member
The BOB

Never realized how tough the new rosters are. Only 11 spots for 8 teams with one mandatory. Only three extras for many deserving players.

Boston, Montreal (Price/Weber) and TB (Hedman/Kucherov) got the extras for the Atlantic.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Monoply has opened voting on new tokens for the next edition of the game. While the emojis can fuck off, the bunny slipper is amusing.
http://kotaku.com/monopoly-opens-up-voting-for-the-next-generation-of-tok-1791011142?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow

phonymahoney
Editor

Where did the guy on the horse go? I think he was a cowboy?

They always made me be the dog when I was little. I wanted to be the top hat.
comment image#31

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

The got rid of the horse and rider. And the cannon. Jerks.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

The cannon!

The BOB
Member
The BOB

Two of the best pieces.
I was always the horse and rider since my brother HAD to be racecar and our set didn’t have howitzer or battleship. The horse was really the only respectable piece left!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Pretty sure I went with the horse and rider as well. I think Satan81 was the cannon.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Pretty sure SatanMom was the thimble because she liked to sew.

phonymahoney
Editor

My mother hates Monopoly with a passion, and always hated my father when he was playing Monopoly.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Agree about the emoji tokens. If Parker Bros. were really forward thinking, you would submit your own token ideas to them and they would have them 3D printed for your custom Monopoly game…. i think I just figured out what i’m doing with the rest of my life!!!

phonymahoney
Editor
Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Genius!

The London Bear
Member

Ooh, I do like a game of Monopoly.

Don’t really pay too much attention to the tokens, but yeah, to Hell with the emoji ones…

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

I’m still salty they got rid of the iron token.

phonymahoney
Editor

Me too!

The London Bear
Member

You lose the iron, but gain a cat! C’mon, that’s a fair trade in anyone’s book isn’t it?

Thetallest81
Member
Thetallest81

But how am i going to iron my hampster clothes?

phonymahoney
Editor

Good question.

comment image#4

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Gimme irons!!!!!! #Team Iron

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

comment image

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

The London Bear
Member
phonymahoney
Editor

Morning, pals!

  • A little late. Lots to do this morning.
  • One rep on vacation, one rep out sick. Everything is awesome.
  • comment image#40

  • This team has me thinking all sorts of things. As a girl who used to work for me always said, “It has me feeling some type of way”. I don’t know what that means, really, but I feel like it describes things perfectly right now.
  • We have to straighten out the scoring depth. One game we have it, the next four, we don’t. I know injuries are an issue, but something’s got to give, no?
  • With that, does Sweeney make a trade, or just rely on what we’ve got, and hope we find some chemistry when Beleskey gets back?
  • I feel like some kind of move should be made but at the same time, I also believe that this is a year where we’re just kind of waiting for the prospects to flower. Soon, we will have DeBrusk, Senyshyn, Gabrielle, Zboril, Lauzon, JFK, McAvoy, O’Gara, Grizz, et al. OK, I know all of those guys won’t make the show, but some of them are bound to, and it seems like they just might be impact players. Here’s hoping.
  • comment image#40

  • It’s weird to go from being such an old team to being such a young one.
  • Yay, Blues tonight.
  • Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    I keep thinking little, big trade. My targets – Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, Justin Williams, Chris Kunitz, hell, I’d even take Justin Abdelkader. The first four can score, have won. That kind of guy. I’d take Niklas Kronwall, if available, or a D like him, as well.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Kronwall is a 35YO D on the decline and one the IR.

    Hossa is a 37YO with 4 more years at 5M and he fell off a cliff last year. Add in the cap-recapture penalty and there is a major risk to Chicago trading him.

    Gaborik is a 34YO with 4 more years at 5M and he fell off a cliff last year

    Abdelkader has 6 years left at a wildly overpriced 4M with a full NTC

    Kunitz and Williams make sense but would cost more as pending UFAs. The other four are disastrous options… would only consider them if acquiring them for free (or for Beleskey…)

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Win a Cup, then push ’em off a cliff?

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Will trade salt for GRIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MadScientist72
    Member
    MadScientist72
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Okay, but that’s the kind of player I hope this team can pick up. Can score, veteran presence, and have won.

    Thetallest81
    Member
    Thetallest81

    Dr. Recchi? Iggy? Joel Ward? uhhhmmmm Cogliano?

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    You are literally zero fun

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Do you seriously want them to trade for Kronwall, Hossa, Gaborik or Abdelkader?

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    Who cares? Don Sweeney can’t hear Joe.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Point being?

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    You seem particularly salty and argumentative today and I don’t really have the patience for it.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    No moreso than normal. Just calling it as I see it, as per usual

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    I should clarify: you are salty and argumentative and *I* and super salty today, so there’s that.

    Thetallest81
    Member
    Thetallest81

    Can I purchase some of said salt so i can prepare for next snowfall?

    The London Bear
    Member

    does Sweeney make a trade, or just rely on what we’ve got, and hope we find some chemistry when Beleskey gets back?

    Thinking about possible lines when we are at full strength (if that ever happens before the season finishes) it occurs to me that Spoons and Czar are essentially the same player – best suited to 3C but can play wing if really needed. We don’t really need two guys like that, which presumably comes back to the long-touted Spooner trade (presumably as part of a package?)

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Are we really a young team though? Four of their top five forwards are 28, 30, 31 and 32 and three of those four have difficult medical histories. Goalie is middle-aged at 29. Top D is still an ancient giant.

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    Look what’s likely going to happen next year, though.

    IntentionallyWidenberg
    Admin

    Yeah, we aren’t quite at the tipping point for old-to-young. They seem a little younger because guys like Krug, Schaller & K.Miller are ‘newish’ but are actually in their late 20’s. I think the average Bruin is ~27. But they will get younger soon. Spooner & Morrow likely don’t wear a Spoked-B next season, but some of the prospects are likely pressed into service. Liles is a 37-yr old UFA next season and is also likely to be supplanted by youth.

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member

    Next year we will be younger.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Next year we will be younger.

    Where do I sign up for THAT?

    MadScientist72
    Member
    MadScientist72
    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member

    I’m glad someone chuckled.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Even then, our top-end players will be the older guys. The youth are more depth roles, and will be so next year as well. The only up-and-coming stud in the pipeline that will be impacting in near future is Pastrnak.

    We’re more like the Red Wings of the past few years… young support pieces but the the central pillars are all aging

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    I just said the team will be younger.
    comment image#56

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member

    We have a much better pipeline than the Red Wings. No doubt we are suffering from bad drafting and trading picks, but reinforcements are coming, especially on the blue line.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Agree we are better off… our pillars are much younger than theirs were these past few years. Can’t speak to the pipeline well enough. They were just the most obvious comparison.

    I just can’t see calling this current team a young one when it’s so reliant on players exiting their prime.

    phonymahoney
    Editor

    I wasn”t talking about who anyone is relying on, but on age in general.

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Good Morning!

    Back in New Hampshire…when our plane finally landed at midnight. I’m to tired to deal with work, but a customer when nuclear while I was gone, so taking it easy isn’t in the cards today.

    Texas was fucking cold. Not that 35 highs and 18 lows are awful, but they are when the buildings down there aren’t built for that. On the bright side, I met my nephew and (as of this trip) godson for the first time. He’s cuter in person than pictures.

    Might actually watch the game tonight.

    Dr. Medievalist
    Member
    Dr. Medievalist

    Hi friends. I’m finally back in El Paso.

    This after a 3″ spike blew out one of our tires in Santa Fe and I had to stay overnight so that Discount Tire could replace the tire under warranty (they’re closed on Sundays). It was fuuunnn.

    Hoping to catch the game tonight.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Hey, there are worse places to spend a night than Santa Fe. Hope you made the best of it!

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Saw that. Glad everything (eventually) worked out.!

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Seems like paying to replace the tire would have been cheaper than staying the night in a motel…

    Dr. Medievalist
    Member
    Dr. Medievalist

    Nah.

    We drive a Subaru. It’s 4WD, so, unless the tire is exactly the same, all four tires have to be replaced at the same time. That would have been 800 dollars. The rental car was 100 dollars, the hotel room was 40 (thanks, Marriott employee rate), and the tire replaced under warranty was 26 bucks.

    Inconvenient, yes, but much less in terms of hit to pocket book.

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member

    OMG YOU USED TO WORK AT A HOTEL?!?!

    I DID TOO! I worked for a Quality Inn.

    Dr. Medievalist
    Member
    Dr. Medievalist

    Hahaha, not quite. My sister-in-law works for Marriott, so we get to enjoy the family-of-employee discount. It’s really the best thing ever.

    (I will be very, very sad if said S-I-L ever leaves the company. We’ve gotten spoiled staying at Marriotts for Motel 6 prices)

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member

    (My friends were very upset when I left the hotel world for a living wage in HR. I worked the front desk for federal minimum wage. )

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Gotta love doctors… rolled my ankle back in mid-November. Still sore with certain movements and noticed it was swollen this weekend so finally set up appointment.

    Guy basically ignores ankle and just goes on about elevated blood pressure. Thanks for taking care of the issue at hand doc…

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    ^Why I avoid doctors like the plague!^ The only good doctors are right here on B2B!!!

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Recchi is on B2B??

    I actually like my primary but he was booked til February so had to see someone else.

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor

    elevated blood pressure

    I think we all have elevated blood pressure this season.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Not me. I went in with zero expectations. Or I guess it would be more accurate to say bad expectations. They’re doing better than I expected, though I’ve barely watched.

    Mine is just due to two midgets, lack of sleep and being a fatass

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor

    Mine is just due to two midgets, lack of sleep and being a fatass

    I hope this is exactly what you told your doctor. Followed by “Now fix my fucking ankle.”

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Nah, I’m only an asshole to strangers online, not in person.

    Pain in ankle is relatively minor, something I can just walk through 99% of the time so not a big deal. Moreso went to make sure there wasn’t some obvious damage to something that should be addressed.

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member

    You mean, the issue at foot.

    Sorry, that was dumb. Elevated blood pressure is serious too, but it would seem insignificant if your ankle is still hurting.

    wpDiscuz