Bruins Making Right Call Rolling With Jarred Tinordi In Game 5

The decision was between Tinordi and Urho Vaakanainen


May 23, 2021

Injuries prevented the Boston Bruins from being awash with options to replace Kevan Miller for their potential series-clincher on Sunday.

Because of a high hit from Dmitry Orlov, Miller is out for Game 5 of Boston’s first-round playoff series against the Washington Capitals, which the Bruins lead 3-1.

Meanwhile, John Moore is done for the year, while Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril and Steven Kampfer all are dealing with injuries of their own. That left the Bruins with just Jarred Tinordi and Urho Vaakanainen to choose from, and head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated Sunday morning he was going with the former.

It’s the right call.

Tinordi (as we wrote Saturday morning) plays a more similar game to Miller than Vaakanainen. We saw in Game 4 that the Capitals aren’t afraid to run around and take a more goonish approach, and while the Bruins shouldn’t be looking too far into the future, they should be mindful of the fact that they likely will bury the Capitals at some point. If it happens to be early Sunday, Washington could start to get reckless. The history is there.

That’s not to say Tinordi should just go out and police the ice, but he’ll at least take some of the burden off Nick Ritchie to be that physical presence. It also helped that Tinordi looked good in his last game and has a history already with a few Caps players in Tom Wilson and Garnet Hathaway.

Again, the Bruins shouldn’t assume that they’re just going to win Sunday. But if they get up and the Capitals start to look defeated, that’s when having Tinordi would come in handy. The truth of the matter is the sixth defenseman, whether it was Tinordi or Vaakanainen, probably wasn’t going to play much more than 13-15 minutes anyways. Might as well go with the guy who makes the most sense from a matchup standpoint.

Puck drop for Bruins-Capitals Game 5 is set for 7 p.m. ET on NESN, with pregame coverage beginning at 6.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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