For this hit in the first period of the Philadelphia Flyers' loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, Zac Rinaldo has a hearing with the NHL this afternoon:
Rinaldo was given a minor penalty for the hit on Jonathan Ericsson; hey, remember those halcyon days of Colin Campbell's "Hitting Zone"? How times have changed …
So should this result in any action from the League?
Via Frequent Flyers, Frank Seravalli writes:
The hit itself is relatively clean. Rinaldo does not use his elbows and the primary point of contact appears to be Ericsson's chest.
As NBC Sports Network's Brian Engblom says in the broadcast, Ericsson put himself in a vulnerable position for looking back to making his pass. But where Rinaldo may be in trouble is that he takes a good 4 or 5 strides, lining him up, before delivering the blow.
One thing that is working in his favor: That outside of the charging call, it appeared to be a solid hockey check that didn't involve the head, which was the primary point of contact for Ovechkin in his "launch."
But Brendan Shanahan no doubt has better video footage than this; hence, the phone hearing. Unless they have something on tape that's dramatically different than this … it's not a suspension, is it?
Seravalli brings up another interesting point: Is Zac Rinaldo the new Dan Carcillo?
He's second in the League in penalty minutes (156), but his penalties taken per 60 minutes (3.7) isn't much higher than the penalties he draws (3.5); Carcillo had much the same type of ratio in taking 1.6 penalties per 60 minutes and drawing 1.5 last year for the Flyers. Rinaldo has seven points in 43 games; Carcillo is more offensively skilled, and can be a 30 point guy in this League if he can stay in the lineup.
But both guys, as this phone hearing reminds us, carry the load of their established reputations into every hit.