View Count: 267 |  Publish Date: April 07, 2014
Flyers' Rinaldo could be suspended; Sabres criticize his hit
Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014, 11:57 PM
Flyers winger Zac Rinaldo will have a hearing with the NHL and could be suspended for a hit to the head of Buffalo rookie Chad Ruhwedel with 15 minutes, 31 seconds remaining Sunday night.
“I shouldn’t have done it,” Rinaldo said after the Flyers whipped the Sabres, 5-2, at the Wells Fargo Center. “We’re up 4-0 and there was no need for it, but it is what it is. It’s part of the game.”
Ruhwedel suffered a concussion, which will not help Rinaldo’s cause with the league.
“I had a lot of speed going at him,” said Rinaldo, who scored his second goal of the season earlier in the game. “(Had) my shoulder down and as I hit him he shot the puck, and my shoulder hit his head, clearly.”
More coverage  VOTE: Can Mason lead Flyers deep into playoffs? Latest hockey videos  Forum: Do the Flyers have a chance at the Stanley Cup?Buffalo coach Ted Nolan criticized Rinaldo.
“Those are the type of hits that we have to get rid of,” he said. “Those are not only dangerous hits but youre also putting a fellow player in jeopardy of his career… Youre dealing with the brain.”
“Teams need energy players like that,” said Sabres defenseman Mike Weber, whom Rinaldo tripped during the game, “but theres a certain line you cant cross, and it seems like hes crossing it two, three times a year.”Flyers coach Craig Berube has been praising Rinaldo for being more disciplined lately, and he even promoted him to the third line.
Rinaldo scored his first goal since Jan. 8, but he also finished with four penalties _ goalie interference, charging, tripping, and a match penalty for the hit to the head.
“Got to be better. Got to be smarter,” Berube said.
As for a potential suspension, Rinaldo said he hasn’t talked with Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s dean of discipline, for “maybe a year and a half now, so I dont know what to expect. It could go either way.
If Rinaldo is suspended, Steve Downie or Tye McGinn figures to play Tuesday in Florida.
New look. Flyers center Sean Couturier drastically trimmed his “mountain man” beard, saying it was “time to move on and try to start a new streak here.”
Joked Couturier, 21: “I do feel younger.”
Couturier entered Sunday with one goal in his last 23 games.
Breakaways. Luke Schenn had 10 hits and four blocked shots…Vinny Lecavalier started the night on the fourth line, and Michael Raffl centered the second unit, with Brayden Schenn moving to wing…. Buffalo’s Ville Leino, a former Flyer, is without a goal in 56 games this season.
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