Just minutes after Marc Staal’s forearm shiver to the head of Jason Spezza in Ottawa, Zac Rinaldo decided he wanted some of the NHL playoff spotlight with this series of cheap shots on Zbynek Michalek in Philadelphia:

While Staal’s hit was at least somewhat debatable, there’s really no arguing this one.

The initial cross-check was punishable, but it certainly wasn’t malicious enough to warrant anything other than a standard penalty. Where Rinaldo pushed the envelope and revealed the goon inside of him was the first cheap shot after the cross check, while Michalek was still lying face down on the ice.

And then of course, for good measure, Rinaldo waits for Michalek to get to his knees, bulges his eyes like a mad man, and drives his fists into Michalek’s head, knocking him back down to ice level.

Staal should have received a penalty for his hit on Spezza in the Sens/Rangers game, but you’ll notice that I didn’t mention any sort of supplemental discipline in my review of that incident. In this case, however, I don’t see how Rinaldo can avoid supplemental discipline.

Combine a cross check from behind into the boards with a couple of elbows to the head of a defenseless player, topped off with a straight shot to the head, and anything less than a suspension will be a massive dropping of the ball from Brendan Shanahan and the NHL.

For the record, Rinaldo received a couple of minor penalties for cross-checking and roughing on the play, as well as a game misconduct.

And in case you forgot, it was a Rinaldo hit from behind on Michalek a couple of weeks ago that got the bad blood boiling between the Flyers and Pens, so you know there is some history there.

Comments (49)

  1. Mr. Casciaro dont write another article, rinaldos the man he’ll be in game 5 unless they give him a healthy scratch.

    • If Rinaldo is playing in Game 5, it will be yet another example of the NHL dropping the ball on player discipline. The reason these playoffs are getting out of hand in terms of dangerously reckless hits is because plays like these aren’t being dealt with.

    • Seriously? You’re telling us thuggery like this needs to be tolerated? I don’t mind fighting and “The Code” and brawls and old-time hockey and all that, but this is nothing more than a SERIES of cheap shots. Rinaldo is a bit of a tool to boot, so he could use some time in the press box anyway.

    • He’s sure to be suspended and I’m a Flyers fan.

    • Rinaldo is the man if you like a no scoring cheap shot giving rookie that talks like he owns the league he is a little kid that needs to learn how to play with the big boys and not lose his temper every time something doesn’t go his way

    • Rinaldos a dick, he’s the next Sean Avery

    • yolo yolo, you must be the guy who plays hockey, hits people from the blindside straight to the head, and looks at the ref and says “what? i didnt do anything”
      lol what a joke.

  2. I don’t think anyone who’s ever watched a hockey game would ever accuse Zac Rinaldo of being “the man”, he’s a goon and not even a good one at that. He’ll be suspended at least one game, probably multiple, and the Flyers won’t be any worse off without him.

  3. If anything, suspending Rinaldo gives the Flyers the line-up space to put James van Riemsdyk back in. So sure, Rinaldo gets the punishment, but in the end the Flyers win.

  4. No comment on the ‘gutless’ call to put Rinaldo out in a late game?

  5. Yeah, who cares if Rinaldo’s gone? He brings nothing to the lineup. Zero. He’s a Matt Cooke in training. Put JVR in.

    • If rinaldo was a matt cooke in training he would bring much more skill to the table and matt cooke also has top 5 fewest penalty mins in the NHL this year ( less than rinaldo has in this series)

  6. Het dumbass look at cookes stats you retard

  7. FLYERS FANS & FLYERS PLAYERS = CLASSLESS. Not just in hockey – in every sport.


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