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.”