Philadelphia Flyers forward Tom Sestito has added fuel to a pretty healthy fire in the wake of Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Tampa Bay.
Last night’s contest featured a pair of fights — Max Talbot vs. Vincent Lecavalier, Zac Rinaldo vs. BJ Crombeen — with the latter resulting in a devastating knockout in favor of Rinaldo.
Afterward, Sestito said Crombeen had it coming.
“What [Crombeen] did to ‘G’ [Claude Giroux] last game, he had something coming to him,” Sestito told the Philadelphia Daily News. “We weren’t going to do it dirty. He answered the bell and good for Zac. It was just a great fight.”
Here’s more, from the Daily News:
Apparently, Crombeen had been a hot topic in the Flyers’ dressing room after their 5-1 loss in Tampa Bay on Jan. 27.
Not long after Vincent Lecavalier’s first period fight in that game, Crombeen attacked the wrists of Giroux with three deliberate slashes all in the same shift. That didn’t go unnoticed.
Giroux, of course, had offseason surgery to repair fractures on both wrists, which he said came from Sidney Crosby during last year’s epic first round playoff series.
The problem, of course, is that many have criticized Rinaldo for hitting Crombeen late — or at least while he was on his way down to the ice — which appeared to exacerbate the damage (Crombeen was dazed, wobbly and didn’t return to the contest.)
“Typically when I’ve gotten into fights with guys in that position, you stop throwing,” Crombeen said after the game. “I mean, guys fight different ways, so I’m not really going to say if it was dirty or not.”
When asked about the fight, Rinaldo said he finished it properly.
“I hit him until he was down,” Rinaldo told reporters. “I’m not going to hit nobody no matter who they are or what they done, I’ll never hit someone when they’re down. I hit him until he was down. I made sure he was down and that was it.
“I kind of felt bad in case I didn’t stop myself, but I’m pretty sure I did.”
The issue now, of course, will be optics. Sestito essentially said the Flyers had a score to settle with Crombeen, and Rinaldo went out and settled it in a pretty violent manner.
That could be construed as premeditation, something the NHL doesn’t take lightly, especially after the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident of 2004.