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Watch Zac Rinaldo take a gruesome stick in the mouth

Mar 18, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

During the first period of today’s Penguins-Flyers game, Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was the victim of a most unfortunate high sticking incident. It’s unfortunate because it was his teammate Scott Hartnell who was responsible for catching him in the mouth with the blade of his stick.

Check out the sick carnage on this one as Hartnell mixed it up with Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang.

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  1. sabatimus - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Rinaldo looks to be ok. The bigger story here ought to be why the heck Hartnell and Kunitz weren’t both ejected after continuing their scrum for MINUTES after the linesmen stepped in. Normally doing something extra would get you 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike. But both those guys were really going at it for a lengthy period of time. Hartnell shouldn’t even have been in the game to score the winning goal. By the way, I’m not a fan of either team and thought the game was entertaining. I just want a bit more consistency.

    • kellyb9 - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Hartnell had Kunitz’s knee on his face. He didn’t continue to fight, he was on the ground. Should have been a power play for the Flyers. I’m partial, but Hartnell got roughed up as the refs were trying to stop Kunitz.

      • letangusespertplus - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        yeah you’re right. hartnell didn’t do anything in that scrum.

      • ndrdog - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        Yea, he started the entire thing, hit his teammate in the face with a highstick, but other than that Hartnell is completely innocent. Kunitz is an animal and attacked him out of the blue for absolutely no reason and should be suspended!

  2. sabatimus - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I’m also going to assume that Malkin won’t even get so much as a whisper from Shanahan for that sucker punch/butt end from behind.

  3. ndrdog - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    The only thing that leaves me scratching my head is why did Kris Letang get a double minor when it was Hartnell’s stick that hit his teammate in the face as he was trying to highstick Letang. Was it Letang’s fault that he didn’t take the shot as intended for him, or possibly his fault that Zac Rinaldo skated in to join the attack too soon and his own teammate hammered him in the face with his stick. I can’t wait to hear Shanahan explain how someone who is doing nothing gets a double minor when another player hits his own teammate in the face with a highstick.

    • hockinj25 - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      it was a bang-bang play. the ref probably didn’t have time to think about it and assumed it was Letang’s stick.

      • ndrdog - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:25 AM

        Do you really want the game of hockey to be officiated by officials who “assume” what they don’t see and base game changing calls on those assumptions? If that call had not been made, quite simply, the Penguins would have won the game.

  4. revansrevenant - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    That’s some nice amateur dentistry there by Scotty Hartnell. I’m sure Zac Rinaldo will thank him for leaving him with less teeth to brush.

  5. dougsautersmustache - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I think it was less that “Hartnell didn’t do anything” than “Hartnell got knocked down and his best defense was to lay there like a slug”. Watch as he’s on the ice, he’s looking for an opportunity to slug Kunitz in the kisser, but the linesmen are in the way. They probably should’ve both been ejected for actively struggling against the officials that way, but the call was consistent and it’s not responsible for the Pens’ loss.

    Re: that Malkin play: do you mean the one he was penalized for in the third? He threw an elbow at the Flyer, his stick got away from him (the front end swings out too), and the back of the stick caught the Flyer in the face. It wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t particularly dirty, and he sat two minutes for it when his team needed him.

    If you want to make the “NHL refuses to suspend star players for offenses that lesser players could never get away with” argument, feel free to do so, but don’t do it in response to incidents like that. You’re just diluting your point if you try to make it every time a player you don’t like does something mildly aggressive.

  6. hockinj25 - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Waiter, can I get a side of hockey stick with my steak?

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