WINNIPEG Given the way his puck luck has gone over the last few weeks, Tyler Seguinhad some negative thoughts when his second period tipped goal was under videoreview by the NHL. Did Seguinthink it was coming off the board? 100 percent, said a smiling Seguin. The only thing I was thinking on thebench is that its not going to count because of a high stick or something.When it happened I was battling with a guy and I put my stick out with my eyesshut, so I wasnt exactly sure what happened. But then I finally saw the replay and didnt think it was ahigh stick.So instead Seguins strikecounted as his third goal of the season and Bostons opening score in a 3-2 victory overthe Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre, and Claude Julien was giving the21-year-old credit for his best all-around game of the season after it was allover. The Bruins winger was solid in the defensive end and even broke up anodd-man rush in the first period on a hustling back-check when Zdeno Chara wasout of a play with a broken stick. It was great to see Seguinscore a goal, but more than that he just played a great overall game, saidpartner in crime Brad Marchand, who notched the game-winner in the thirdperiod. If you watched him tonight, he was everywhere. He back-checked veryhard, he was great in our end, he was shooting the puck and thats what youneed out of him. When he plays like that were a pretty tough team to beat.When things arent going the way you want sometimes you just need a goal likethat to get you going.That defense led to offense in the second period with theBruins down 1-0 after an Alex Burmistrov goal. Zdeno Chara lobbed a shot fromthe right point toward the net and both Seguinand Brad Marchand converged on the shot at the same time. It was Seguin moving toward the cage that got a raised stick onthe puck and tipped it past Winnipeggoalie Ondrej Pavelec. It was one of seven shots attempted by Seguin in victory, and a sign that the Bruinsforward has upped his grit game with a greasy goal that wont necessarily makeany highlight reels anytime soon. Even though its a tip thats not usually my game, Illtake it, said Seguin.Obviously when youre not scoring and producing the guys see that youregetting frustrated. The message I got over and over was to keep battling and tomaybe take my grit up another level and my compete level up. Thats what Itried to do tonight.Now its up to Seguinto keep things humming offensively after breaking through with a greasy one: hesgot two goals in his last six games after potting one empty netter in his firstnine games of the season. Things are set up for a productive rest of the road trip forSeguin if hecan keep the grit level at a respectable level until shots start falling forthe Bruins forward on a regular basis.
It’s only a coincidence that it will air the same week that the Boston Bruins went Hollywood with their annual three-game road trip through California, but David Backes and his wife Kelly are going to get some solid TV time this weekend. The animal-loving couple are going to be featured Saturday night in the all-new Animal Planet special "Stars to the Rescue," which highlights the Backes family’s excellent work to ensure every animal has a ‘furever’ home.
The lifelong animal lovers have adopted five rescue pets that all made the move from St. Louis to Boston this summer, and launched Athletes for Animals in 2013, a non-profit organization supporting professional athletes and animal advocacy efforts. The 32-year-old Backes chose a Boston animal shelter as his first setting to meet with the Boston media this summer after signing with the Bruins in free agency, and spoke glowingly about his inspiration for marrying two of his passions: helping animals and sports.
“The full story is that in college we wanted an animal or two, but it just wasn’t responsible because we were renting and the landlords didn’t approve," said Backes, the proud owner of four dogs (Maverick, Rosey, Marty and Bebe) and two cats (Sunny, Poly). "We just didn’t really have the time or resources to support them, so we volunteered at the local shelter for the three years I was in school.
“When my wife [Kelly] and I moved to St. Louis, we wanted to connect with the community, be a part and use our voice to influence social change to do our part making the world a little bit of a better place. So we said, ‘Why not connect with the animal welfare rescue community?’
“We absolutely love doing it: Walking dogs, scooping litter boxes and cleaning kennels. Let’s use our voice to kick this off and see what we can do, and it really just snowballed from that to then trying to tie other guys into it. It’s not limited to the animal stuff, but the animals that don’t have a voice, and the kids that don’t have a voice, really tug at our heart strings. We want to help them with this blessing of a great voice we’ve been given as professional athletes, and to really use that to give them some help.”
The “Stars to the Rescue” special premieres on Saturday night at 8 pm on Animal Planet where there will be a full segment on the Backes family, but here’s a clip where Backes talks about his well-publicized involvement with a number of stray dog rescues during his 2014 Olympic Hockey stint with Team USA in Sochi, Russia.
Backes isn’t the only Boston athlete featured during the Animal Planet special as it also chronicles the stories of other well-known athletes and celebrities and the dogs they can't live without: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley, Selma Blair, ESPN Correspondent Michelle Beadle, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and more. From training buddies to comforting companions, “Stars to the Rescue” shows first-hand how these celebrities first met their cute rescued canines and how their dogs have impacted and transformed their lives for the better.