Joni Ortio was pulled from the Calgary Flames net midway through Friday’s game against the Nashville Predators, and then dispatched him to the minors just minutes after the game.
Ortio allowed four goals on just 13 shots before getting yanked from Calgary’s net. The Flames went on to lose in a wild, high-scoring affair, by a final score of 6-5. Joey MacDonald came into the game for Calgary, and was credited with the loss despite allowing only two goals on nine shots.
Not long after the game ended, the Flames announced Ortio had been reassigned to the Abbotsford Heat in the American Hockey League.
The Flames later clarified the transaction.
“Joni Ortio was required to be assigned to the (Heat) as he was an emergency recall for Karri Ramo, who returns tomorrow,” the club stated later via social media.
The 22-year-old Ortio is a sixth-round pick, 171st overall, of the Flames from the 2009 NHL Draft. He had appeared in nine games, winning in four of his starts since he was recalled earlier in February.
But Friday’s outing was a rough one, especially after allowing two quick goals early.
“When you let in the first two shots, you know it’s going to be a struggle. It’s not fun,” said Ortio, as per Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: