There’s a certain type of hockey player that climbs up through the ranks because, to put it bluntly, they’re a pain in the ass to play. They play an up-tempo style, they’re fearless, they’ll hit everything that moves, and they’ll chirp you in the process. They are Zac Rinaldo.
The thing with this type of game is that you can play it in a clean way. You don’t have to be a constant injury threat who doesn’t respect your opponents. Unfortunately, Rinaldo has yet to learn how to play that game, or he just has no interest in trying.
Two years ago he was suspended two games for a jumping shoulder to the brain of Jonathan Ericsson of the Red Wings just eight days after being fined twice for two separate incidents (a late hit and a slewfoot) in the same game. Here’s a refresher on the suspension:
His hit to head of Chad Ruhwedel earned him a match penalty, and was injurious:
Ruhwedel has a concussion. Nolan concerned about Ehrhoff. Lieuwen too ill from late hit to speak. Yikes. The beat goes on. #Sabres
— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) April 7, 2014
So, Rinaldo’s getting suspended. Let’s break down the play and give ‘er the old “Court of Public Opinion” assessment. How many games for this?