David Backes is wearing multiple hats for Team USA right now. He’s on a makeshift grind line with Dustin Brown and Ryan Callahan, so head coach Dan Bylsma is clearly looking for some physical play out of the St. Louis Blues captain. He’s scored a pair of dirty goals for the Americans in this tourney, and today against the Czech Republic, he put on the playmaker cap.
With the United States on their heals a bit and coming up with several empty shifts against the Czechs, Backes made a clutch play to put the team up 2-1 in the first period. America took an early lead, but quickly allowed the Czech Republic to tie things up. The Stars and Stripes spent a lot of time trapped in the defensive zone after that, but this pass from Backes broke up that momentum immediately.
To that point in the contest,the Americans had spent a lot of time cycling in the corners, but couldn’t seem to turn the pressure into a shot on goal. Backes turned the tide of play a bit by posting up at the circle before firing a cross-ice pass to a waiting Brown.
Give credit to the goal scorerâ€”that puck didn’t exactly arrive flat, and there was obviously some heat on it. Brown settled it down though, and buried it for the US. A great pass and a great finish all around.
(h/t to Pete Blackburn for the GIF)
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