Mike Halford


Rinaldo says linesman ‘cranked me down pretty hard,’ caused injury (Video)


Curious tidbit here from CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty on the injury that forced Zac Rinaldo to miss Boston’s last three games:

The more interesting aspect of the situation was the B’s fourth liner claiming that linesmen David Brisebois was the one that caused the [upper-body] injury when he was separating Rinaldo and Matt Hendricks after the two of them scrapped in the Edmonton game a week ago.

“He was trying to keep me down, so I wouldn’t get up,” said Rinaldo. “I was coming up, and he cranked me down pretty hard.”

Here’s the incident in question (Brisebois is No. 96):

It’s hard to see what exactly happened — the incident was over pretty quick, and Rinaldo didn’t appear to immediately grab at any injured part of his (upper) body.

He also ended up playing for the remainder of the contest, finishing with 14 shifts for just under nine minutes of ice time.

That said, he was clearly displeased with Brisebois’ actions. Rinaldo went on to tell CSNNE “there was no reason to use that much force like the ref did,” and “the last thing you want to deal with is a ref using all his strength.”

He did say he’ll be available for selection should the B’s need him tomorrow night, when they host the Blues at TD Garden.

Bruins’ Talbot suspended two games for ‘predatory’ hit on Tlusty


The NHL has suspended Boston forward Max Talbot two games for interference on New Jersey’s Jiri Tlusty from Sunday night.

Calling it a “late, violent” hit, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety was harsh in its assessment of Talbot’s decision-making on the play, which occurred midway through the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout win.

“What elevates this to hit to merit supplemental discipline is the extreme lateness and predatory nature of the hit,” the DoPS said. “After releasing the puck, Tlusty looks up and sees Talbot approaching.

“However, only after Tlusty looks back at the puck in the corner does Talbot commit to throwing this hit.”

Talbot, who wasn’t penalized on the play, will miss Boston’s next two games — tomorrow against the Blues, and Saturday against the Sabres. He’ll also forfeit $19,354.84 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Tlusty was shaken up by the hit, but returned to finish with just over 14 minutes of ice time.

“He went through and finished a full check,” Tlusty explained, per the Star-Ledger. “He went through my chest and head. It was a late check, but it’s tough to say anything. I would just say it was too late.”

Wild ink key d-man Spurgeon to four-year, $20.75 million extension

Arizona Coyotes v Minnesota Wild

Last week, we passed along word that Minnesota had started contract talks with pending RFA d-man Jared Spurgeon.

Guess those talks moved fast.

On Monday, the Wild announced it had signed Spurgeon to a four-year, $20.75 million extension, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $5.18M per year.

That marks a pretty nice raise for the 26-year-old — he’s making $2.66M annually on his current deal — and makes him the Wild’s second highest-paid blueliner, behind Ryan Suter ($7.5M).

Yes, the money might seem high for those unfamiliar with Spurgeon’s game (especially since he’s now making more than Jonas Brodin).

But to those that watch on a regular basis, his value to the Wild blueline cannot be understated.

Aside from salary, Spurgeon sits second to Suter in a number of key statistical categories — including points (16) and TOI per game (22:16) — and is regarded as one of the club’s best skating and puck-moving d-men.

“How we want to play the game, how we execute, how we get up ice, the speed we want to play with, [Spurgeon] helps us get to that type of game,” coach Mike Yeo said recently, per the Star-Tribune.

Originally drafted — but unsigned — by the Islanders in 2008, Spurgeon caught on with Minnesota in 2010 and has been with the club ever since. He currently ranks third among defensemen in franchise history in goals (30), game-winning goals (eight) and power-play goals (15).

Flames say upper-body injury will keep Frolik out ‘long term’

Michael Frolik, Chris Bigras
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On Wednesday, we passed along word that Michael Frolik‘s injury would keep him from the final three games of Calgary’s current road swing.

Well, it turns out the ailment will cost him much more time than that.

“He’s going to be long-term,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley said on Friday, per the team’s Twitter. “A few weeks.”

Right now, details are pretty sketchy as to what’s ailing Frolik, and exactly how many weeks Hartley’s talking about. The 27-year-old was injured during the Flames’ 2-1 OT win over Nashville on Tuesday, and was immediately sent back to Calgary for medical evaluation.

Harltey did say the injury (one of the upper-body variety) won’t require surgery.

Losing Frolik will undoubtedly hurt. He was having a pretty solid offensive campaign prior to getting injured — seven goals and 16 points in 30 games — and averaged over 15 minutes a night, playing in a variety of situations.

Josh Jooris took Frolik’s roster spot for Wednesday’s 3-1 win in Dallas, and received just over 14 minutes of ice time.

Goalie nods: Rask looks to shut out Penguins for second time this week

Dennis Seidenberg, Patric Hornqvist, \b40

Tuukka Rask will look to continue his red-hot December — and his stymieing of Pittsburgh — when the Bruins take on the Pens at Consol.

For the month, Rask is 4-0-2 with a .965 save percentage and two shutouts, with one of those coming against these same Penguins two nights ago, at TD Garden. The Finnish ‘tender stopped all 34 shots faced for his fourth shutout of the year.

All told, Rask and the B’s have dramatically cut their GAA in recent weeks. They’ve allowed just eight over their last six games, moving them to 19th in the NHL in goals per game.

More: Less ‘running around’ has been key for Bruins

For the Pens, Jeff Zatkoff will be in goal, meaning recently recalled Matt Murray will likely make his NHL debut tomorrow against Carolina.


— Great (potential) matchup tonight in Washington, where the visiting Lightning will go with Ben Bishop while the Caps are expected to counter with Braden Holtby. Both sit among the NHL leaderboard in save percentages (Holtby at .935, Bishop at .931).

Roberto Luongo goes for Florida in Carolina, while the ‘Canes start Cam Ward.

— Looks like Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer will give Martin Jones the night off in Ottawa, and start Alex Stalock. Craig Anderson, who’s been a workhorse this season, goes for the Sens.

— Michigan native Ryan Miller is the guy for the Canucks tonight in Detroit. The Red Wings have opted to go with Jimmy Howard ahead of Petr Mrazek.

— In Winnipeg, the Jets will continue to roll with prized rookie Connor Hellebuyck, while the visiting Rangers will go with their No. 1, Henrik Lundqvist.