Bruins’ Rinaldo says injury caused by linesman cranking him to the ice

Boston Bruins winger Zac Rinaldo has missed three games with an upper-body injury he says was caused by a linesman following a fight with Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks. Rinaldo said the incident was “unfortunate,” but added “there was no reason to use that much force.”

Boston Bruins winger Zac Rinaldo has been out for the past three games with an upper-body injury following a fight with Oilers winger Matt Hendricks. But Rinaldo said it wasn’t the actual fight that put him on the shelf but rather the linesman’s attempt to break up the scuffle after it was over.

According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Rinaldo said his injury came when linesman David Brisebois was attempting to hold the 25-year-old down following the scrap with Hendricks. Rinaldo told Haggerty that when he was trying to get back to his feet, Brisebois was attempting to keep him down when Rinaldo was “cranked” to the ice.

“It’s unfortunate,” Rinaldo told Haggerty. “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.”

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It’s hard to tell when, exactly, Rinaldo suffered the injury. It didn’t appear too serious at the time, either, as Rinaldo stayed in the game and finished the contest. Rinaldo says he’s healthy now, though, and told Haggerty he’d like to get back in the lineup Tuesday against the Blues in Boston’s final game before the holiday break. In 26 games this season, Rinaldo has one goal and two points and averages roughly eight minutes of ice time per night.

That decision will be up to coach Claude Julien, though, and with his Bruins currently riding a three-game winning streak, he might not want to shake up the lineup heading into the holiday.

If the Bruins win Tuesday night, they’ll move into first place in the Atlantic Division and overtake the Montreal Canadiens less than 10 days ahead of the 2016 Winter Classic game between the rivals.