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Hitchcock thinks Backes will return ‘in the next two or three games’

Apr 22, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

Ken Hitchcock AP

The St. Louis Blues played a valiant Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks without captain David Backes.

Losing 2-0 and surrendering an empty-net goal in the closing seconds is nothing to get down about, but Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has all faith they won’t be without Backes for much longer.

Following the loss, Hitchcock told reporters he believes Backes will be back for them soon, and when he does things will pick up for his team in a big way.

“We get (David) Backes back in the next two or three games, we’re going to even go higher,” Hitchcock said.

There hasn’t been a timetable set for when Backes might return from the injury he suffered when he was charged by Chicago’s Brent Seabrook in Game 2. As you know, Seabrook received a three-game suspension for the hit and Backes was knocked out of the game and did not play on Sunday night.

There’s no doubt the Blues are a better team with Backes on the ice, but if he’s dealing with a head injury playing it cool while he gets better is for the best.

  1. comeonnowguys - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    If Chicago wins Game 4, he’ll be back for 5 at home. Head explodes from made-for-tv narrative.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      To be clear, I mean my head. Not Backes’. That’s just mean.

    • esracerx46 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      Sadly I think you’re right. If it goes back to St. Louis tied, I think he plays. Which is sad in this day and age that these guys still want to be the tough hockey player that can deal with anything. Commendable, but sad. He should come back when his head allows him to, regardless of wins/losses. Don’t mess with head injuries!

      • sprtsfan1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Agreed, but these players are a different breed. They are warriors well beyond any other sport especially when it comes to the playoffs. Hopefully it doesn’t mean more lawsuits for the NHL.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Yeah, I remember going through a little of that with Toews. I was all for shutting him down and having him miss the Phoenix series entirely rather than risk an additional concussion at a time when it would do the most damage.

      • alexbaymac - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Backes is old-school. I dislike him on the ice but can’t help but like him for what he does in the community. I hope he’s ok & comes back soon. I want the Hawks to win without any excuses!

  2. bucfanforlife - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    nobody knows how hurt he is i heard more of a whiplash/neck injury, if he can play play, the name on the cup is forever, this is the real season.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      I’ve watched the replay multiple times and that wasn’t a whiplash/neck injury. The Office of Player Safety also said it was “a blow to the head”.

      You are correct that nobody knows how hurt he is, but when someone gets a head trauma and can’t stand on their own, that’s not good.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      You’re right, we don’t know how hurt he is, but seeing him not being able stand without the glass and a second person is troubling.

      Unless your name is (probably) Duncan Keith.

      • slysipops - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        backus putting the hurt on a lot of other players never seemed to bother him either…… put the violin back in the case !

    • esracerx46 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      He actually took 2 hits the head. I guess 3 if you want to count the fall. But the 2 primary ones were Seabrook, and the other from his neck snapping back and hitting the end boards. You could make an argument that the second blow was worse than the first a quarter second prior. Regardless both were caused by Seabrook

  3. McFaddensPulledHammy - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    So a guy gets concussed on Saturday, can’t stand up by himself, and will be ready to play in 6 or 8 days? And the players union wonders why Gary Bettman and the NHL owners tell them to pound sand on their concussion lawsuits.

    If he comes back in Game 5 or 6 (if needed) and someone gives him a hard check and he gets concussed again, aka “causing injury”, is it suspendable? How many games?

    Having seen players in both hockey and football get concussed the way he looked like he did, I find it hard to believe he will be ready to come back that early. I hope he, Hitchcock, and the Blues doctors aren’t stupid enough to trot him out there when he isn’t ready. If he passes all the concussion protocols, put him back on the ice.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      I agree. The one thing concerns me about protocols, and this may be complete ignorance on my part (shocker), but what’s to stop teams from going from doctor to doctor until they get the answer they want?

      • esracerx46 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=556289

        Starting tonight, players suspected of having a concussion will be removed from the game and sent to a quiet place free from distraction so they can be examined by the on-site team physician. The physician will use the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool test to evaluate the player. Symptoms include loss of consciousness, motor incoordination or balance problems, a blank or vacant look, slow to get up after a hit to the head, disorientation, clutching of the head after a hit or visible facial injury in combination with another symptom.

        Pretty sure Backes exhibited all of the above. From what I gathered from the article, it sounds like it’s the teams doctor that gives the evaluations. At the end of the day, does a doctor really want to risk his license to help his employer out by possibly endangering a life? A vast majority I hope would not.

  4. kastout11 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Brayden Schenn took a head shot against the Caps earlier this season and tried to but could not stand, but he returned for the 3rd period. I think the hit on Backes was a little more severe, but I can see him playing game 5 or 6. They are a totally different team when he is in the lineup. I agree that if he is anywhere close to 100%, he will probably play game 5. He is one of those old school players that will throw caution into the wind and give it a go, even if not healthy. I’m am a Flyers fan, but in addition to Patrice Bergeron, Backes has definetely become one of my favorite non-Flyers.

  5. tfilarski - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    too bad by time he is ready to go the hawks will already be on their way to the 2nd round

  6. sigep316 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Crawford won that game for the Hawks! The Blues were swarming all game long. You Hawks fans better hope the team starts playing better because Crawford alone won’t get you to the next round!

  7. slysipops - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    hockey has a history of players who endured all kinds of injuries and played, BOBBY BAUN who played for TORONTO years ago sat in a relatives barn for a day or so with his foot in a bucket of ice. it was broken and he did not want the trainer to know and keep him out of the SC FINAL GAME . if i remember correctly , he scored the winner ! the courage and fortitude of these players amazed me and was why i first became interested in the sport. maybe the league originally only having 6 teams forced guys to play through pain, rather than have someone else fill their spot on the roster ?

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