(HockeySTL) -- There's an overwhelming temptation to hurry David Backes into the line-up for Game 4 of the Blues playoff series against the Blackhawks.
The smart play, however, is to give Backes all the rest possible before putting him back on the ice. Yes, he's their captain. Yes, he's one of the best players and not having him could affect the outcome of the series. Yes, we know he's tougher than a nickle steak and would like to play. But putting Backes back into a rough and tumble playoff series before he's had sufficient time to recover from his concussion would be irresponsible.
A few years ago, it wasn't uncommon for a hockey player to have his bell rung, and then be expected to lace up the skates for the next game. We know now how dangerous that is. If Backes were to suffer another concussion just four days after being knocked wobbly in Game 2, it could have career and life threatening consequences. Hurrying him back for Game 4 isn't the responsible move, for Backes personally or for the Blues as an organization. Let him have all the recovery time necessary, even if it means missing the entire series. Or the rest of the playoffs. It's just a sport, after all. A guys' long term mental capacity has to come before the desire to win a hockey game.