Rinaldo's fight edgier than most
There was a point, back on Jan. 27 in Tampa, that all chaos was breaking loose. And it had little to do with the chaos the Flyers fell into while falling 5-1 to the Lightning that night.
This little storm was stirred up early by Lightning forward B.J. Crombeen, who first antagonized Wayne Simmonds, then did the same with Claude Giroux.
Crombeen got three simultaneous minors at one point in that game, but that did little to deter the Flyers from feeling in this rematch game at Wells Fargo Center Tuesday night that Crombeen must be targeted.
Or, at least ... that's what everybody thought after Zac Rinaldo beat the hell out of the guy.
"I didn’t play down in Tampa and to be honest with you, I had no clue what happened down in Tampa," Rinaldo claimed after his beat down (quite literally) of Cromwell helped motivate the Flyers en route to a 2-1 tipping of Tampa tonight.
Rinaldo, who was out injured in that first meeting with the Lightning, said he'd watched that game that night, but he said this fight happened because "two guys collided and he asked me first, so I answered back."
That said, there was another issue surrounding the Rinaldo fight, which was as one-sided as they come. From some vantage points, when Rinaldo really rocked Crombeen with three consecutive rights ... two of them seemed to come a little bit late, after Crombeen had gone down.
No way, Rinaldo said.
"I hit him until he was down," he said. "I’m not going to hit nobody no matter who they are or what they've done. I’ll never hit someone when they’re down; I hit him until he was down and made sure he was down and that was it."
Crombeen, who seemed OK afterward despite being sent to the locker room for the balance of the evening after the fight, was asked if he thought Rinaldo's punches came a bit too late.
"I’m not going to say that," Crombeen said. "You’re in a fight. He’s trying to hit me. I’m trying to hit him. ... I always thought that if a guy is in a bad position you stop throwing, but guys fight different ways. I’m not going to say if it was dirty or not. You’re fighting. ... You put yourself in that situation and you know the consequences."
Rinaldo was concerned about the reaction of his punches coming late, so later he asked referee Kelly Sutherland what he thought.
"I kind of felt bad if maybe I didn’t stop myself, but I’m pretty sure I did," Rinaldo said. "I even asked Kelly ... I asked him what he thought and he said, "No, you’re good. It was fine. You hit him right before he went down."