Skip to content

Roy calls Backes ‘gutless’ for altercation with MacKinnon

Apr 5, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT

The Colorado Avalanche handled the St. Louis Blues to the tune of a 4-0 win on Saturday, but the ugly scene at the end of the game might fuel the two teams’ fire more than the score if there’s a rematch in the playoffs.

During one moment, David Backes and Nathan MacKinnon got into it, as you can see via this video:

Never known to back down from a confrontation, Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy called Backes “gutless” for the altercation with the Avs rookie.

While Backes took the high road after the game, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock provided some interesting comments about his rival bench boss.

Hitchcock didn’t send Ryan Reaves out there, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t fallout from the MacKinnon – Backes scuffle and Patrick Bordeleau‘s hit on Kevin Shattenkirk, as you can see in this video:

Just take a look at the box score to get an idea of how much of a mess this situation was.

The good news for the Avalanche is that MacKinnon was able to return to action later on, so at least it doesn’t appear that an injury resulted from that skirmish (unless it appears that way after further inspection).

The Blues lose a player to injury, however, as Alex Steen won’t play on Sunday because of an upper-body injury. It’s unclear how serious that issue might be.

So, overall, the game ended in a frenzy and these two teams clearly aren’t best friends. At least we’ll have a few extra things to talk about if Colorado and St. Louis end up facing off in a second-round Central Division playoff matchup though, right?

  1. wannabebluesplayer - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    And what does he think of Bordeleau backing away from everyone who challenged him over the Shattenkirk hit? Or how about the fact that MacKinnon tries to get free to fight Backes? Why does age matter at all? Is he in the NHL? Yes. Then he should be able to handle himself against men.

    • chanceoffleury - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      The size difference has more to do with it being pretty questionable judgement on Backes’ part, rather than age, for me. Backes has been around long enough to realize what it’s gonna look like when he, the 29 year old 220 pound captain, jumps the “18 year old top rookie first overall draft pick” that is 50 pounds lighter than him.

      • joey4id - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

        When is the last time you say an 18 year old tough kid break into the league because he’s a good fighter? These rare 18 year olds that break into the league do so because of their emmense talent, but they are far from being grown men. Matter of fact they are still developing their body strength and growing. A 29 year old man should not jump an 18 year old kid unless his life is in danger. (Exaggeration to make a point)

      • lordfletcher - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        finally able to watch this and I think everyone is blowing this out of proportion

        Backes is frustrated more than anything and good for Mackinnon not backing down and showing leadership and strength.

        Almost nothing to see here, playoff hockey… move along!!!

    • flyerspsu - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      Bordeleau would have wiped the floor w/ everyone on the Blues team except for Reaves

      • hennessey1200hp - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Gutless is a coach who cries like a baby every time one of his players gets on the wrong end of a physical play

      • 950003cups - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:35 AM

        Gutless = is defending your own player for beating up a small female.
        Gutless = is also defending your son for beating another defenseless player senseless.
        Gutless = trying to attack a guy like Bruce Boudreau

        Patrick Roy = Gutless

    • sn0w60ard3r - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      EXACT same thing to Shatty! If you can’t take a CLEAN hit. Then don’t play the game. Is Shatty in the NHL? Yes. Has he been in the NHL longer than 5 years? Yes. Then WHY the hell does he have his head down in the middle of the ice. Ask Marc Savard or Eric Lindros where that got them? He should know by now that getting hit in the middle of the ice is PART of Hockey.

    • basedrum777 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      My issue is that it appears in the video that Backes skates into MacKinnon purposely and MacKinnon pushes him back which Backes tries to take advantage of.

  2. c9castine - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    i saw backes finishing a check, mackinnon going back at him with the hands up high, and backes getting up and engaging.

    im not sure how Backes is gutless for that. looked like a typical one on one hockey battle in april.

    • slysipops - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      i have heard of people looking at things though rose colored glasses …. so i guess blue colored glasses would be the same ? so BACKASS hits the kid after he passes the puck ( not real late so no problem ) the kid don’t like it and give BACKASS a light crosscheck ( low, not at all high ) at that point BACKASS drops his gloves and jumps the kid in one motion. think he didn’t have this planned ?maybe he wanted to redeem some favor with the BLUES fans ? i hope the fans know better .as for BORDELEAU……….. he showed to just be a loudmouth punk! real talkative on the bench or after the refs got in between !

      • c9castine - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        backass huh? nobody got jumped here. if you want to see a jumping, think bertuzzi on moore, or thornton on oprik.

        lmao at light cross check

        BTW, i wear contacts, and one is black, the other gold.

        so…what color are yours then? purplish?

      • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        Why should/would Bordeleau have to fight, when Colorado had the lead in the third period? Their prevent defense is sketchy enough. Why risk giving the Blues any momentum by engaging in a fight?

    • polegojim - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      c9 – then you weren’t watching the same game as the rest of us.. or put down the crack pipe.

      • c9castine - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        im talking about the play specific to the top video, and thats it.

        mackinnon gets hit after he gets rid of the puck. he goes back after backes. both fall down. both get up, and instead of followng the play, both players turn to eachother and engage. backes is a bigger guy and he got the upper hand a little bit but mackinnon was trying too.

        theres nothing to freakin speculate on here. what i said is factual, cut and dry.

      • slysipops - Apr 6, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        did you just happen to see what DON CHERRY said about BACKASS? yeah i know a lot of guys don’t like CHERRY …..jealousy maybe ? but the mans been around hockey all his life and is highly regaurded in CANADA ….and hockey is their sport ! now… the comment you replied to was totally about BACKASS …i said in another comment that BORDELEAU was more mouth than action ( especially considering his size ) he either does his yapping from the bench or AFTER the linesman and refs get inbetween him and a possible opponent ! so don’t think i defended him .

    • sn0w60ard3r - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      hahaha. Really the supposed “high hit” you are talking that definitely questionable. At 1:15 of the above video. MacKinnon has his arm UNDER Backes arm. I repeat UNDER Backes arm and lifts up, WHY because Backes tries to go HIGH on Mackinnon Mackinnon has a right defend himself from a slightly late hit. Backes was aiming for the possible Calder winner because at that point the game was already OVER to him. What I do know is that the moment Blues started to get hit hard and were definitely going to lose the game they started acting like a bunch of retards. Late Hits. But what I find is funny. When the Avs are trailing in the 3rd some how 3 of the last 4 games they didn’t act like pouty brats. they came back and TIED the game. They start fighting and crying…. Blues need to learn that hockey teams are NOT going to lay to them because they had the most points. Hence the word HAD…

      • c9castine - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        you put high hit in quotation marks to indicate you were quoting something i said. i checked to make sure and i did not say “high hit” anywhere in my post.

        so, i didnt bother reading the rest of what you said, its all irrelevant after that. try again.

  3. slysipops - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    the blue colored apes really came out of their cages today ! BACKES is a slug ! not just because he picked a fight with the 18 year old , but because he was punching and trying to continue to punch the kid more while he was flat on his back on the ice. maybe the linesmen need to carry billyclubs when creeps like him won’t stop ! i can see being mad because your complete team looked and played like it was their first time playing hockey, but how far do you carry that crap ? so is bubbles HITCHCOCK mad at himself for not taking the chains off of REAVES ?

    • wannabebluesplayer - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      Really slysipops? Pretty sure what c9castine said is exactly what happened. Maybe Bordeleau needs to realize he isn’t small like Shattenkirk and face a man his own size. Or, if MacKinnon can’t handle himself, he shouldn’t be in the NHL.

      • c9castine - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        my team isnt even in the conference, i have no preference here.

        1. nobody here got jumped. it was a back and forth. saying one party was worse than the other is just silly.
        2. mackinnon is in the NHL. if he cant handle that, he shouldnt have been put here. personally, i think he can, and i think his coach should stop making him look like a poon.
        3. this guy finishes his comment up with some speculation and comparing a player to a dog, not realizing that hitchcock kept things under control and didnt want to send the wrong message about the game by sending a guy out there solely to fight when his team was down. but why have any respect for that?

      • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        you just said that mackinnon was fair game regardless of his age. why should shattenkirk be protected because of his size???

      • sn0w60ard3r - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        umm yeah didn’t happen at all like C9 wants to believe. if so that why at 1:15 is MacKinnon’s arm UNDER. I repeat UNDER Backes arm. I high hit would of course mean that your arms above the other teams and up near the head. umm where was Backes arms? up near MacKinnon’s head and ABOVE Mackinnon’s arms. Which is EXACTLY why Mackinnon has the leverage and just lift up under the arm pit and put Backes on his ass. Bwahaha that was funny. Keep it up Mackinnon. You are just upset that when our 18 yr old is hit he pushes back. Where as Shatty folded and then cried about a CLEAN hit. I repeat a CLEAN hit. If you have your head down in the middle of the rink expect to get hit in the head.

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      Yeah you’re right. Hey, what place are the Blues in a again? Shut up.

      • posted11 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        How many Cups have the Blues won? Oh, yeah, nevermind.

      • sn0w60ard3r - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        All that proves is the moment they meet any adversity or the moment they lose they act like little babies having a fit. I would rather my team lose gracefully not crying the entire time. it is happening.

  4. savior72 - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    If there’s one thing that Backes isn’t, is gutless. Roy needed to shut his mouth,it’s not going to get any easier and he’ll just come off looking like a crybaby.

  5. jkaflagg - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    Looked like Backes was a little surprised that MacKinnon bumped him, and was probably frustrated by the score at that point……as far as MacKinnon being 18 years old, that’s immaterial; he’s a great talent and his goals can beat you just as easily as a 30-year old, and if he’s gonna be out there he (and his teammates) know he’s gonna be tested….you can’t give him a free pass to go anywhere and not pay the price just because of his age.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Finally a comment that just plain makes sense

  6. slysipops - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    about the game…………………..

  7. polegojim - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Backes got embarrassed while trying to make a hit… and then gooned up. MacKinnon never dropped his gloves to go.

    Then, punching a guy after he’s on the ice is TOTALLY cowardly and gutless.

    Roy is 100% right

  8. nj666 - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    gutless? why? did he quit his team in the middle of a game or something?

    • c9castine - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:51 PM


  9. mrhyperpants - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Backes tried to check Mackinnon and did like it when Mac checked him back. Then Backes decides to rugby tackle him to the ground. The Blues got there feathers ruffled today by a young team and couldn’t handle it. There goon antics didn’t work.

  10. mrhyperpants - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Didn’t like it*

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:06 PM


  11. shot03 - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    How about the high hit that Bordeleau made on Shattenkirk where he left his feet? Bordeleau is pretty huge compared to Shatty.

    • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      he didn’t leave his feet to make the hit he left his feet because of the hit. day and night.

  12. Wineshard - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Backes has a history of stupidity at the end of games they lose. Someone needs to clean his clock one of these days.

  13. shot03 - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Backes can hold his own as well as Polak. Jackman can be scrappy but hes more of a chirper.

    • mp1131211 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      Backes couldn’t hold his own which is why he got dumped and so had to jump a kid 50lbs lighter than him.

      • 11111111111a22 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        ^ wait…what?

      • mp1131211 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:12 AM

        Big boys were playing a game, kiddo. And one big man tried to push another big man and when he fell over trying, it made him mad, like when you try to take your sister’s toy and she clobbers you. Understand now, buddy?

  14. bigben1513 - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Wow the blues fans posting on this article at delusional. I’m not a blues or Avs fan but it looked like Nate didn’t know what was coming that’s not hockey it’s an assault this is what doesn’t belong in the game

  15. bsaures - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    No wonder the states didnt medal in the olympics with leaders like backes and Brown leading the charge

    • pxland - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      Don’t forget Kessler!

  16. mp1131211 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    McKinnon dropped him. Backes looked like a sad angry school boy. The Avs wiped the floor with the blues and they’ll do it again if they meet in the playoffs.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      Yikes, easy cowboy. Most of the Avs players have never even taken part in a playoff game, let alone a grueling, physically challenging series against a seasoned contender. To say they’ll “wipe the floor with the Blues” in a 7 game series….sorry, but no.

      • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        Actually, you do have a few guys that have some experience…Stastny has been around for a while, Varly with Washington, and they did face the Sharks in the 2010 quarterfinals. Is it a lot of experience? No, but it’s better than no experience at all.

      • mp1131211 - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:30 AM

        We’ll see. Hopefully they meet so someone on the Avs can demonstrate for Backes how to throw a hit. NO ONE thought the Avs could have done what they did this year. Obviously Roy and Sakic have made their presence felt. Mckinnon is good, but has’t been the only factor this season. The Avs should prepare for a deep run.

      • joey4id - Apr 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM

        Dumb comment. Roy, who will win the Adams award, is the conductor and has made this team what it is today. They beat the SC champs 4 of 5 games. BTW, They lost the first game 7-2, so that’s 4 in a row, and just beat the SC 2014 favorites. This team is currently running on all cylinders, so you Hawks fans better hold on to your hats because it’s going to be a tough series. Avs are for real and beating the Hawks may not constitute an upset.

        Roy’s comment in the press demonstrates yet again that he is behind his players, and all these instances helps build the team’s character, and unifies them. “Alright. The coach has our back” is what they are saying. Compare that to stupid comments Carlyle tells the press and what the players think of him. Ex. Reimer

      • posted11 - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Giggy has deepplayoff experience too… Including winning the cup in 07.

      • sn0w60ard3r - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        being an Avs fan. Yeah I don’t see us “wiping the floor with the Blues.” It would be a great series and I don’t see us sweeping the Blues considering that was their first win against the Blues this season.

  17. graymalkin26 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Typical yellow american…usa sucks.

    • phxyotes - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Screw you graymalkin, why don’t you go blow another guy.

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      Wait…did a Canadian just call Americans yellow?

      • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        I actually laughed out loud when I read your comment

    • sn0w60ard3r - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      isn’t it something like 80 or 90% of canadians live within 100 miles of the US. Could it be because you are just all wanna be Americans?

  18. ronniethec - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    The Blues are an all around tough team and should have a nice playoff run. A run that will end when they play you know who in the conference finals.

  19. kcz62364 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Ok so the Blues didn’t play well today. Was anyone on here watching the same game as I was. Blues won the series this year against the Avs. they got a little bent out of shape over the no call on the hit against Shattendueces, which is understandable. The Avs need to quite whining and take the win and move. I’m sure the blues have.

  20. titansbro - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    He was a great goalie but Patrick Roy is the Jim Harbaugh of the NHL. He’s always b*tching & moaning & totally unlikable unless you’re a Colorado fan.

  21. pxland - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Punching a player who hasn’t dropped his gloves and is laying on his back=douche move.

    Or, perhaps gutless?

    Probably both.

  22. joejacks - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    The Gutless part was Backes hitting MacKinnon when he was down on ice. The code of hockey states you don’t do that. It’s too bad the fat Walrus named Hitchcock didn’t want to fight Roy!

  23. spetznaz777 - Apr 6, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    dont see the rule where you have to go easy on 18 year olds mr. roy.

  24. muckleflugga - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:07 AM


    no … there are no rules suggesting any player should go easy on eighteen year old player … in the run of play everyone is fair game within the rules of the game …

    backes’ attack … remarkably evenly matched in its outcome in spite of he jumping mackinnon and punching him after pinning him … is in fact the work of a gutless bully and is

    the work of a man who in all likelihood has been the bigger boy since failing grade two three times … game in and game out backes throws his weight around playing bully-boy hockey … his hour will come because

    patrick roy has a long memory

    what is noteworthy is how easily a smaller and greener mackinnon handled backes who responded like every frustrated bully responds … by attacking his assailant

    but that’s hitchcock hockey … all stick-work and hammering play which is one approach that works until a like-minded team comes to town … when the playoffs come the bash and crash teams are worn and beaten

    skill teams jack-up hounding skating attack and worn out bully boys have no answer … while the blues have done better this year we can anticipate fragile goal-tending and the annual disappearance of steen and oshie to ensure their early exit

    hitchcock is a genius but he can only do so much with that dog’s breakfast

    as for patrick roy … look what he’s done in one season … look at his weapons

    backes couldn’t carry mackinnon’s sweaty jock but he will in the future have ample opportunity to inhale its heady vapours as mackinnon blows-by stiffs of his ilk night in and night out

    chanceoffleury nailed it in her comment … jarome iginla was also in the habit of attacking players when his team was beaten and frustrated … it was his least endearing trait and it turned the knowledgeable hockey fan off … captains with class playing for classy organization never behave as did iginla and now backes

    i give this one to mackinnon hands down … standing up to a known thug with no back-pedalling … skill trumps goon … all heart and all class

    the blood of the highlands runs true and deep in our lad … when will they learn

  25. Plumber 65 - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    I’m still stuck on those yellow USA skaters. Can you say Sean Avery. Possibly the worst piece of s*** to hit the nhl. And yes he’s from canada😁 This game make for a awesome building of of a rivalry. Avs just need to win some more avs/blues games. Sorry mackinnon this is the nhl big boys play here.when your a star you have a bulls eye.

  26. Plumber 65 - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    I second second lord fletcher

  27. eagles512 - Apr 6, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I lose more respect for Roy every time he opens his mouth

  28. mackattack29 - Apr 7, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Backes is a little girl. Mackinnon is ten times the man that backes ever will be and is already a better leader. BBackes is truly a gutless POS!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1927)
  2. P. Kane (1450)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1352)
  4. M. Richards (1206)
  5. M. Giordano (1184)