The one-trick pony enforcer is dying in today's NHL.
No longer is it worth having a guy on the team who only fights and skates five minutes of ice time per game. Instead, the guys who are willing to drop the gloves also have a clue as to what to do with a hockey stick and when the puck is on it.
That leaves Jody Shelley and Tom Sestito practically irrelevant on the Flyers and their pursuit of a successful season.
On and off, the two have been in the line up for the Flyers. And in the rarest, and most unfortunate occasions, the two goons were in the line up together for five times this season. In those five times, the Flyers are 1-3-1.
Before the season started, people doubted whether or not Zac Rinaldo would make the 23-man roster.
Now, Rinaldo has earned his way onto the third line.
Though it may be temporary, Rinaldo made a huge impact in Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Predators playing on the third line and it may have been the game that gives the 21-year-old a true crack at more ice time.
Before Thursday’s game, Rinaldo was averaging a little over six minutes of ice time, was a minus-7 and had only four points. But in that game, Rinaldo eclipsed the 10-minute mark for only the third time all season in his 36 games, skating a season hight 11:11.
This is the big chance Sean Couturier has been waiting for.
Granted the 19-year-old wasn't in favor of it coming at the cost of Claude Giroux's noodle, Couturier is looking forward to shedding Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk as line mates in favor of a future Hall of Famer and one of the best goal-scoring pests in the NHL.
Couturier will see a promotion to the first scoring line with Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell tomorrow night in Washington.
In the second period of the Flyers 5-2 win over Tampa Bay, Giroux suffered a freak head injury. While down, forward Wayne Simmonds tried to avoid Giroux but caught him in the back of the head with his knee.
Zac Rinaldo has quickly established himself as the physical presence on this year's team. TCL's Matt Brigidi had the opportunity to talk with Rinaldo about his hitting game, his influences and his future. Check out what he said.
The Winter Classic saw it's first preview of the season with the two teams squaring off at center ring in Madison Square Garden. But it was New York who threw the first punches in their 2-0 shut out win Saturday afternoon.