Bruins tough guy Zac Rinaldo has been out of the Boston lineup since suffering an upper body injury in his team’s game against the Edmonton Oilers on December 14. He finished the game, playing 8:53 and racking up five hits. It was only after the final buzzer that Rinaldo was shelved.
It wasn’t one of the hits that caused his injury. Nor was it Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks, who tussled with Rinaldo in a first period scrap. No, Rinaldo claimed it was linesman David Brisebois who was at fault.
“It was after the fight against Hendricks,” Rinaldo told WEEI.com. “The ref jumped on me as I was coming up and he put me down a little too rough, to be honest. That was that.”
From CSN New England:
“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.”
“It’s unfortunate. It was after the fight too, so there was no reason to use that much force like the ref did. I don’t know…you can’t really give the ref [expletive].”
“[Fighting] is part of hockey, but when the refs use their force after you just fought for 30 seconds, or a minute…that’s the last thing you want to deal with is a ref using all his strength, and all of his – I don’t know what you want to call it – to stop you from doing anything.”
For all Rinaldo’s assurance on the source of the injury, there didn’t appear to be all that much roughhousing at the hands of Brisebois. It seems far more likely that the two takedowns from Henricks would have caused whatever kept the Bruins winger on the shelf.
Rinaldo missed three games as a result of the injury. He skated on Monday and may return to the team’s lineup Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.
(stick-tap to hockeyfights.com)