The Boston Bruins have made a move to shore up their defensemen situation with half their opening night back end missing due to injuries. The B’s have claimed rugged 6-foot-6 defenseman Jarred Tinordi off waivers from the Nashville Predators, a move necessitated by ugly back-to-back losses in New York where the Bruins have surrendered 13 goals, including 11 goals in the last four periods of play.
The 29-year-old Tinordi has played in seven games for the Predators this season averaging 16:34 of ice time per game as a third pairing D-man, but he’ll bring size, strength and physicality to a back end that’s currently missing net-front ruggedness with Lauzon and Miller out.
A former first round pick by the Habs in 2010, Tinordi has a goal and 11 points along with 115 penalty minutes in 88 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Coyotes and Predators, so he’s clearly a depth, stopgap option until the injuries bug subsides.
Jarred Tinordi was claimed off waivers by #NHLBruins.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) February 27, 2021
Lauzon is out at least a month with a fractured left hand and Miller has missed the last three games after his troublesome knee began acting up on him. The claiming of Tinordi speaks to, perhaps, the situation with Miller being a little more concerning than the B’s have let on at this point after he missed the last two full seasons with chronic knee issues.
Bruce Cassidy mentioned the lack of “stiffness” in Boston’s back end over the last two games, and it’s been clear watching bigger, physical forwards like Anders Lee and Chris Kreider manhandle Urho Vaakanainen at the point of attack.
“We’re trying to get through a stretch here where the back end is still sorting things out, and learning their way with a very young group,” said Cassidy, following the 6-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday night. “A couple things have to happen. They have to get better and recognize what they can get away with, and what they can’t. Too many turnovers and too much reckless play. We need to do a better job of coaching them up, no doubt. So that’s on us.
“But by the same token, when they get on the ice, they need to recognize how they can help us win games. The second part is knowing we have valuable guys out, the stiffness of Lauzon and Miller around the net and puck moving with Gryz. One [defensemen] missing from each pairing. As a team we have to pick up that group.”
Certainly, the transaction with Tinordi will have some Boston Bruins fans second-guessing the decision for the B’s to move on from Zdeno Chara in the offseason. The recent growing pains were something the Bruins anticipated given the turnover on defense with Chara and Torey Krug gone, but it’s been exacerbated by a wave of injuries that would challenge even the deepest NHL organizations given the personnel that’s missing.