This moment says everything you will ever need to know about the character of Boston Bruins veteran forward David Backes and truly speaks to the kind of quality man that is behind the hockey player that we have watched for many years now.
For those of you missed it, on Saturday night Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin was very seriously injured when he attempted to deliver a big hit to the aforementioned David Backes when his Senators faced off against the Boston Bruins. There was nothing dirty about the play, both men appeared to collide shoulder to shoulder, but the whiplash effect of the initial contact caused the heads of both men to come smashing together and the impact of that secondary contact left Sabourin out cold while up on his feet. This loss of consciousness would cause Sabourin to come crashing down to the ice face first, and the mess that this impact created on the ice left no doubt about the fact that Sabourin had also been seriously injured by his fall to the ice, perhaps even more so than he had been by the impact with David Backes.
I was quick to praise David Backes for his quick reaction to the incident, the veteran forward immediately signaled for medical staff to come out onto the ice and his quick thinking may end up proving to be a massive benefit to the injured Sabourin. I also was quick to point out that Backes himself appeared to be seriously traumatized by the whole event and looked to be struggling to deal with the fact that his actions had caused such a devastating injury to one of his fellow players as medical staff rushed to help Sabourin as much as they could. In spite of his quick thinking though a stretcher would eventually be brought out onto the ice to carry Sabourin away, and that may have been the moment that proved to be too much for a the kind-hearted David Backes.
I did not catch it live but upon watching the replay you can clearly see a very emotional David Backes in tears on the Bruins bench attempting to regain his composure before eventually realizing that he simply cannot. The end result was a teary eyed David Backes leaving the Bruins bench and heading back to the locker room, presumably in an effort to go check in on Sabourin following this terrible incident. David Backes may not have been injured on this play, but he very much appears to be a broken man at this time due to the mental and emotional trauma that this incident appears to have caused him.
Scott Sabourin has very quickly become an extremely popular player in Ottawa and I fully understand why fans of the Ottawa Senators have embraced him when they do not have very much to cheer for this season. However I would implore those fans to take a long hard look at how Backeds handled this situation before laying any blame on his shoulders here, I certainly don't think he needs to feel any worse than he already does.
Update: David Backes appears to also have been injured on the play.