David Backes was suspended for three games for Interference on Detroit’s Frans Nielsen with his first game to be served tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Nielsen is suffering from the aftereffects of what the Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg is calling an “unecessary hit to the head” and the Wings are unsure on the timetable for his return.
Backes has no history of fines or suspensions. So why did he get three games? Is this another case of the NHL Department of Player Safety being inconsistent and arbitrary? Maybe, but I will point out that Filip Forsberg also received a three-game suspension on February 4th for Interference against the New York Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey; Vesey also was concussed as a result of the play.
Nashville’s Filip Forsberg suspended three games for interference on NY Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey. https://t.co/7gTton1szC
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 4, 2018
Now, there are Bruins fans who are wondering why Backes was singled out in this way and Patric Hornqvist was not for his elbow to Charlie McAvoy’s head last Thursday. It’s hard to not see inconsistency with DOPS or to see preferential treatment for certain players/ teams when on ice behavior is not even properly penalized.
What nonsense that Backes gets dinged with no record but Hornqvist doesn't even get a hearing. Message sent. https://t.co/F8Syf5dcdC
— dafoomie (@dafoomie) March 7, 2018
It seems that Hornqvist would have argued (and won) that his play would have been a clean hit through the body had Charlie not moved his head, because the onus is always on the player being hit keeping their head upright, which is stupid especially when they have the puck. Quite frankly that part of the rule needs to be changed. Had Charlie not taken the licking and not kept on ticking, I hope the result would have been different but I don’t want a Bruins player to suffer a concussion for the sake of a suspension on a Penguins player, even one as deserving as Hornqvist.
Backes will also miss the home-and-home against the Blackhawks this weekend which is a real shame because I am sure he has a lot of hatred stored up against the Blackhawks after all those years in the Central Division. He’ll get some rest the next few games and be back on the ice on Tuesday at Carolina.