Players across the NHL had been on their best behavior since the All-Star break. Alex Ovechkin was the last player suspended and that came with a game to go before the midseason vacation.
For the hit, Brendan Shanahan issued the rookie Rinaldo a two-game suspension.
As usual, Shanahan is very descriptive in breaking down why Rinaldo was suspended. In this instance, he was clear in pointing out that Rinaldo could have delivered a legal check and Ericsson should have been more aware of what was coming instead of looking back at his pass.
But that doesn't absolve Rinaldo from charging and turning a good hit into a bad hit. Making this perhaps my favorite Shanahan video this year, it busts out the telestrator and a little math. Taking into account that Rinaldo is five inches shorter than Ericsson, he clearly had to launch himself into the air to connect with Ericsson's head like he did.
Rinaldo was skating on thin ice. It was just eight days ago that he was fined not once but twice in the same game. One was for a late hit, the other for a slew foot. That didn't curry him any favor, Shanahan hasn't looked down kindly on repeat offenders.
Rinaldo has been good for the Flyers in his first season in the NHL. He has also proven he fits in the mold of classic Flyers, playing a little reckless at times and proving he's not afraid to throw the gloves down.
Check out this nugget on Rinaldo from Broad Street Hockey: Rinaldo has 285 minutes on the ice versus 276 minutes in the penalty box or on suspension.
More from Eye on Hockey