How will Jarred Tinordi fit with Bruins? Bruce Cassidy explains new d-man's possible role

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Nick Goss
·3 min read
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How will Tinordi fit with Bruins? Cassidy details new d-man's possible role originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins bolstered the depth on their blue line Saturday, and we're starting to learn how veteran defenseman Jarred Tinordi might fit in with the team after the B's claimed him off waivers from the Nashville Predators.

The Bruins have lost plenty of size and toughness in recent months.

It started when longtime captain Zdeno Chara left in free agency to sign with the Washington Capitals before the season. More recently, Kevan Miller has been out of the lineup with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. Miller is one of the most physical players on the B's and sees plenty of action on the penalty kill.

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Tinordi, given his 6-foot-6 frame, likely will be asked to provide the truculence Boston currently lacks on its blue line.

"Our depth has been challenged in terms of size," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said during a Zoom call with reporters Saturday. "(Jeremy) Lauzon and (Kevan) Miller bring a lot of that element.

"With them being out -- we don't know on Miller, obviously, and with Jeremy it's going to be four weeks minimum -- this gives us a different look back there, a little more stiffness. It's just a different element of a makeup of a back end."

Where exactly should we expect Tinordi to play? Cassidy provided a few hints.

“He’s a bigger guy, stay-at-home guy,” Cassidy said. “His numbers offensively are obviously tilted more towards a stay-at-home guy. So, there's a big body that can complement (Charlie) McAvoy if that’s the way we go against top lines.

“(Jeremy) Lauzon did that job. (Zdeno Chara) did that job. Those three guys are not exactly the same, but they’re bigger bodies that can be shut down guys. I’m not going to say he’s going to go on the first pair because we haven’t seen him yet, but he is that type of defender who could find a lot of usage in our back end right now because we lack that, obviously.”

Tinordi isn't going to generate much offense. He was scoreless in seven games played for the Predators this season and has tallied only one goal in 88 career NHL games. There is value in a stay-at-home, defensive defenseman, even in today's fast-paced game. It's a role the Bruins need someone to fill with Miller and Lauzon (plus offensive d-man Matt Grzelcyk) out of the lineup due to injuries. 

We still don't know when Tinordi will make his Bruins debut, but it won't be Sunday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"I don't know when he'll be available," Cassidy admitted. "I know he definitely will not be here (in New York) tomorrow. There's COVID protocols, etc. We'll probably have a better answer to that down the road."