Bruins

Dropping the gloves is making David Backes’ presence felt on the ice, but at what cost?

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

David Backes was quick to acknowledge postgame that Micheal Ferland’s crushing collision with B’s winger Marcus Johansson was "hard and clean" — even if the hit dropped Boston’s latest acquisition to the ice and out of the contest just minutes into Tuesday’s matchup at TD Garden.

Johansson’s shoulder appeared to take the brunt of Ferland’s punishment, as he eventually skated down the tunnel, doubled over in pain, and not returning for the remainder of the night after logging just 0:59 TOI. Following Boston’s 4-3 overtime win over Carolina, Bruce Cassidy noted Ferland’s heavy check landed Johansson — playing in his fourth game with Boston — in the hospital.

“I’ll give an update tomorrow,” Cassidy said. “It looks encouraging, but I don’t want to speak out of turn. Like I said, I think when all the tests are done, we’ll have a better answer.”

An unfortunate situation — but a result that comes from a game as physically punishing as hockey. And while Ferland’s hit was well within the NHL rulebook, Backes was frank in his notion that the ‘Canes were still going to be held accountable.

“You have to stick up for your teammates,” Backes said. “Whether it was a liberty taken or you know, tonight’s hit which was a hard, clean hit, but if guys are running at our skilled guys we need to hold them accountable and I thought there was an opportunity for me to step up and you know, fill that role.”

Just 38 seconds after Johansson exited the game, Backes