Starting on Monday, the Bruins take on the St. Louis Blues, the team that drafted the Minneapolis native in 2003 and helped him develop over 10 seasons.
"There's going to be heightened emotions," Backes said, according to NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin. "It's a binary decision now: It's us or them. There's no third party. No ties, none of that stuff. One of us is going to win the Cup. Either the St. Louis Blues or the Boston Bruins."
"I think it'll be extra sweet if we're able to win against that team and maybe an extra thump if they win it and we're not able to in this room," Backes added.
The 35-year-old recorded 206 goals and 460 points over 727 games with St. Louis, serving as team captain from 2011 to 2016.
Backes became an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season, a campaign when the Blues were eliminated in the Western Conference Final. The power forward signed a five-year, $30-million contract with the Bruins that July, leaving behind teammates he had grown close to over the years in St. Louis, and the only city he knew in professional hockey.
"There are still some good friends - one of my best friends is on that team, he's the captain of their team," Backes said, referring to defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. "I told him I love him now, I'm going to love him afterward, but I'm going to hate him for the next three weeks here. I think that's a mutual decision."
The 13-year veteran understands the magnitude of the moment, and although he appreciates his former club, he's happy to be a member of the Bruins heading into the Cup Final.
"The stars have aligned for this to be one heck of an event," Backes said. "We're just going to embrace it and throw what we have out there in every shift and every moment of every game. I love this group. I wouldn't want to be in the Finals with any other group."