After missing the first four games of the year with a shoulder injury, Detroit’s Jordin Tootoo will make his regular-season debut on Saturday against the Flyers.
Tootoo, 30, hurt his shoulder during a preseason win over Boston on Sept. 19 and was medically cleared to play on Wednesday.
Back-to-back losses from the Red Wings — 4-1 and 4-2 defeats to Boston and Phoenix — prompted a lineup shuffle, one that sees Tootoo draw onto a line with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller.
As for what head coach Mike Babcock is expecting from Tootoo?
“I want him to be Toots,” Babcock told the Detroit News. “I want him to be solid without the puck, make good plays on the wall and be all over their defense.”
It stands to reason Tootoo will somehow find himself tangling with Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo tonight. The pair have a history — Tootoo injured Rinaldo’s neck with a big hit in Jan. 2012, only for Rinaldo to return the favor a month later:
“I didn’t know I hit him until I connected with him and I was like ‘Ohhh, that’s Tootoo,’ ” Rinaldo told Philly.com. “I thought it was a pretty clean hit, so that’s cool.”
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?