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Bruins forward David Backes takes new approach to conditioning

Bruins forward David Backes takes new approach to conditioning
Published On: Thu, Sep 13
May 17, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) against the San Jose Sharks in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff at Scottrade Center. The Sharks won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If therea€™s any Bruins player who misses the physical, old-style NHL, it is David Backes. During his long tenure in St. Louis, the former Blues captain thrived in the in-your-face, grinding kind of hockey that has given way to a more speed-based product.

But Backes is not so obstinate that hea€™s going to ignore the facts of current hockey life, or of his own life. Not only did he shed 10 pounds in the offseason to keep up with the game but also as a means to remain healthy after he was knocked out of the lineup by a diverticulitis-related surgery.

Now hea€™s hoping it all pays dividends.

a€œIt was a concerted effort over the summer to continue to clean up my diet after my colon issues last year and training in a little more of a functional way rather than in a bulky, football sort of brawn type of way,a€ said Backes before leaving for China on Tuesday. a€œIta€™s kind of a€˜leta€™s get to some more battles.a€™ You want to still win them, but make sure I can get to a few more of them. Thata€™s really been the emphasis. Whether it comes to fruition or not, wea€™re about to find out.a€

Hea€™s felt results in his skating.

a€œIa€™ve cut out the majority of the refined sugars that Ia€™d intake,a€ he said. a€œThe sugar spikes and lows that I used to get a€” I was maybe the king of a€˜hangrya€™, the Snickers bar spokesperson almost a€” those dona€™t come as frequently or as dramatic. And with that, on the ice, I feel like Ia€™m moving a little bit better. Whether that translates into game play, we find out here in a couple of days.a€

What the leaner Backes can bring is still an open question, but not as much as the identity of his linemates. There is an ongoing tryout for third line center between Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Trent Frederic and Jack Studnicka, all now in China with Backes.

Read the complete news article here...

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