Wednesday, November 28, 2012

IceCaps 3, Phantoms 2 11/28

Let's switch things up and start with Zac Rinaldo's ejection. The third-year pro winger was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit on Julian Melchiori at the 11:14 mark of the first.

Officially, Rinaldo was given an elbowing major. Here's the AHL rule book on the matter, rule 45.3:

45.3 Major Penalty - A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow to foul an opponent. A major penalty must be imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent

Rinaldo said Melchiori was bleeding after the hit. In that case, it'd basically have to be a major penalty -- if he actually used his elbow. Rinaldo pleaded not guilty after the game.

“It was a joke,” Rinaldo said. “They didn’t even see the hit. I did hit him shoulder-to-shoulder. I watched it as soon as I got off the ice. I guess they (heard) the impact and they saw the blood.”

The elbowing major doesn't carry an automatic suspension like some penalties -- remember when Albany's Matt Corrente was given one for instigating a fight in the final five minutes? -- but the league can always suspend players under the supplemental discipline rule. If an investigation is warranted, the league would review the hit and ultimately decide whether or not to suspend Rinaldo.

Coach Terry Murray didn't get a good look at the hit and didn't want to comment on it until he had.

EDIT: Here's the video, via phantomsfan on YouTube:

You make the call.

There was some concern in the box about if the hit was deemed clean whether the game misconduct could be rescinded, because the AHL has a rule where a player is suspended if he gets two gamers. But I combed through the rule book and that seems to only apply to boarding or checking from behind calls, so it doesn't seem like Rinaldo is in danger of anything there.

The penalty does carry a $200 fine, though.

Anyway, coach Terry Murray said the team took too many penalties. They were shorthanded seven times and that's what ultimately decided the game when Paul Postma and Carl (Hey. Carl. Good to see you) Klingberg scored 10 seconds apart on a five-on-three, then a five-on-four power play.

Murray didn't seem thrilled about the stick fouls given to Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson.

"The first penalty, too, where the man is coming off the wing -- he's rolling off the top of the circle and shoots the puck on his backhand, he's just falling," Murray said. "There's no stick in there. Gus, yeah, he's reaching in and you get a hooking call on that one. It's, I don't know."

The team doesn't seem to like to play in these two referee games. It seems to make a difference. I've seen games where two referees work well, but a lot of times it just seems that one of them tries to outperform the other one and they just wind up calling some stuff that doesn't make sense.

Tonight, each team had a power play before the game was four minutes old.

"It's real easy to get frustrated," captain Ben Holmstrom said. "You don't get as much flow to the game and not as many guys get going and stuff. A lot of penalties like that can kill the flow of the game. At the same time, you're getting power plays and stuff. Sometimes you can swing the momentum your way. I think it just kind of depends on the night, which way you're going."

Adirondack didn't get help from the power play, going 0-for-7. They did, though, have their chances. Tyler Brown shot the puck wide of an empty net on what would have been a highlight reel goal. Sean Couturier hit the goalpost with Scott Munroe pulled. Those ten seconds in the third did them in, but they were starting to get away from the game plan even in the second period.

"They're trying to change the momentum," Murray said. "Any time the puck went into their end, they're throwing it out to the neutral zone, down to the top of the circle at our end and just using their speed to try and hunt it down. We got caught in a three-quarter-ice game, where we're trying to get it back in and they're throwing it back out and coming at us with a lot of speed. It ends up in our zone and now fatigue becomes a part of that shift. It was a good strategy by them and we get caught playing the game that we wanted to play."

Tomorrow is a bit of a later practice and I'm not sure if I can swing it based on the way our schedule is at the office. I'll be back here before the Binghamton game Friday, though, with a pre-game post.

Until next time,


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