We all knew that Zac Rinaldo kind of had a few loose screws, even in the limited amount of time we've had to spend with him during his career in the organization thus far. One look at this week's Slap Schtick (which unfortunately got buried by the Michael Leighton / Ian Laperriere injury news) shows our perception of Rinaldo.
But while Zac was already kind of crazy while he was here during camp, that was nothing compared to what he's done with the Phantoms thus far. It's gotten to the point in the last two nights where Tim McManus of the Post-Star is putting up a 'Rinaldo watch.'
First, from Friday night.
Zac Rinaldo watch: Four penalties (3 in the 3rd), eight penalty minutes, one drawn penalty, took one bad one, in box for tying goal, and almost started pregame brawl. Yep, as advertised. He’s going to be a fun one.
We had this exchange with Tim on Twitter...
Shocked. Shocked, I say! RT @PSPhantoms: Phantoms kill off key late penalty to Rinaldo, who in 1-1 game took a bad penalty.
@BroadStHockey It was really an amazing shift, like he was determined to take a penalty. At least 2 late hits before they called 1.
And then Zac's performance in tonight's loss to Albany...
Zac Rinaldo watch: Rinaldo didn’t get going until late in the game, but he really got his money’s worth when he did. Three penalties, 17 penalty minutes, and a game misconduct for a secondary altercation for a fight in the final minute. Fifteen of his PIMs and the misconduct were in the final minute, so the line isn’t as bad as it looks.
Final minute or not, it's still impressive. While he's certainly creating a name and a niche for himself, I'm not sure this stuff is exactly the way to someday make the Flyers roster.
I wish I could find shift charts for these two games, because I'd put good money on Rinaldo's 25 combined penalty minutes outnumbering the amount of minutes he actually played the game of hockey this weekend.