Tinordi, 24, was suspended late last season for violating terms of the NHL’s performance-enhancing substances agreement. He said he “did not knowingly take a banned substance,” but accepted the ban and vowed to “work hard towards my return to the ice.” After he misses tonight’s game in Brooklyn, he’ll have served 20 games.
A former first-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, Tinordi has spent most of his pro career in the AHL, though he does have 54 games of NHL experience. The big blue-liner was traded to Arizona in January, part of a controversial three-team swap that saw John Scott, the All-Star, sent to the Habs.
Tinordi played seven unremarkable games for the Coyotes before he was suspended. He’ll presumably be assigned to their AHL affiliate in Tucson should he clear waivers.
It’s fair to say optimism about Boston’s blueline was tempered heading into this season.
GM Don Sweeney’s search for a ‘transitional’ defenseman never panned out. Neither did the PTO for veteran rearguard Christian Ehrhoff. So the B’s went into this year with nearly the exact same defense they had last year — a defense that Sweeney admitted was a “work in progress.”
Which is why Brandon Carlo’s emergence is a big deal.
Carlo, the 19-year-old rookie, has been a revelation. He’s scored two points through four games, and done so while shouldering a pretty significant workload — 21:54 TOI per night, second on the team to Zdeno Chara.
“He’s impressed the heck out of us,” head coach Claude Julien said on Friday, per the Bruins’ Twitter account.
Julien’s faith in Carlo goes beyond words. In last night’s 2-1 win over New Jersey, Carlo was put out in the final minutes with Cory Schneider pulled for an extra attacker.
“He gave me no reason not to put him out there,” Julien said.
There’s plenty to like about Carlo. He’s got terrific size — 6-foot-5, 200 pounds — and shown maturity well beyond his years and professional experience, having played just seven AHL games prior to making his NHL debut.
Boston has to be thrilled.
Though the team does have some intriguing young d-man prospects in the system — including first-rounders Charlie McAvoy and Jakub Zboril — they’re not expected to make an impact at the big-league level for a while.
Of course, neither was Carlo.
Injuries to McQuaid and Miller fast-tracked the former WHL Tri-City standout, and he’s made the most of the opportunity. His teammates have certainly been impressed.
“He’s a great defenseman,” goalie Tuukk Rask said, per the Boston Herald. “Very poised out there, and he positions himself well.”
“He’s been playing phenomenal right now,” added Brad Marchand. “He’s stepped up.”
The Arizona Coyotes started their season with a win at home, but two games into a six-game road trip and things have taken a decided turn for the worse.
Smith is no longer with the team. He’s been flown back to Phoenix to consult with doctors, leaving Louis Domingue and emergency call-up Justin Peters to take care of the Coyotes’ crease. Domingue was yanked halfway through the Montreal game, after surrendering four goals on just 19 shots.
“Change momentum for us and recognize we have to play tomorrow night again,” head coach Dave Tippett explained following the loss, per the Arizona Republic. “We’ll put Louis back in there tomorrow night and see if we can get a better start from him.”
The Coyotes play tonight in Brooklyn against the Islanders, with road games still remaining at the Rangers, Devils and Flyers before they get to return home.
Suffice to say, it’s going to be a challenge for this young team, with five rookies and a shaky goalie, to come together and survive the rest of the trip. The Islanders (1-3-0) will be hungry for a win tonight, and the Rangers (2-2-0) have been better than their record suggests. Get through those opponents and there’s still two games to go.
Pretty lousy start to the campaign for Derrick Pouliot.
Pouliot, a healthy scratch for Pittsburgh’s first four games of the year, made his season debut in Thursday’s 3-2 win over San Jose — but played just over 12 minutes before getting knocked out with an injury.
And on Friday, the Pens put Pouliot on IR.
David Warsofsky has been recalled from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as a replacement, and could suit up on Saturday when the Penguins visit Nashville.
The bigger story, of course, is Pouliot.
After appearing in 34 games as a rookie, he dressed just 22 times last year, and only twice during the playoffs as the Penguins captured the Stanley Cup.
This year, he was unable to crack a six-man defensive unit comprised of Kris Letang, Trevor Daley, Ian Cole, Brian Dumoulin, Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz. Letang missed the San Jose game with an upper-body ailment, which paved the way for Pouliot to draw in.