Philadelphia Flyers rookie Zac Rinaldo has made quite a name for himself this season.
With noteworthy names like Drew Doughty (see here) and Adam Larsson (see here) already on his knockout list, the 21-year-old has emerged as a dangerous open-ice hitter — something Columbus’ Aaron Johnson found out the hard way during last night’s 9-2 loss.
Rinaldo caught Johnson with a blindside hit, one that looked as though Johnson’s head was the principal point of contact.
Watch the hit here.
Today, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported that Rinaldo won’t face any supplemental discipline for the hit. Rinaldo received a two-minute charging penalty on the play (Shannon tweeted that “feeling was call on the ice was enough”) while Johnson returned to play almost six minutes in the third period, factors which may have been taken into account.
That said, the game was a complete blowout at the time (8-0) and Rinaldo does have something of a reputation, so it’s curious the hit wasn’t at least subjected for review or one of Shanny’s “let me explain why I didn’t punish this hit” videos.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
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.