Rinaldo suspended 2 games

UPDATED (7:15pm): Rinaldo has been suspended for two games by Brendan Shanahan, who posted a video explanation on his ruling which can be found below.

By our count, Rinaldo will forfeit $5,885 of his salary for the suspension. He will be eligible to return to the lineup on Feb. 21 in Winnipeg.

Since September, Zac Rinaldo’s campaign to earn a spot in the Flyers’ lineup on a nightly basis has revolved around discipline.

Much like Dan Carcillo, the player he replaced, Rinaldo is a player who is only effective when he skates on the edge between nice and nasty, using his body to make the opposition think twice with the puck on their sticks.

For the most part, Rinaldo has played on the right side of the line.

He is second in the NHL in penalty minutes with 156, though 110 of those minutes are either a fighting major or a misconduct penalty.

And Rinaldo has never been suspended. But that may change on Monday.

The NHL announced on Monday that Rinaldo has a disciplinary hearing scheduled later this afternoon with the Department of Player Safety, headed by Brendan Shanahan, to discuss his first period hit on Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson.

The hit occurred with 6:28 remaining in the period.

Rinaldo was assessed a charging minor on the play, but that doesn’t always dictate supplementary discipline.

As you can see, Rinaldo catches Ericsson as soon as he turns his head after making a backhand pass behind the Detroit net. It is not a “blindside” hit per se, in the sense that Ericsson’s complete body is facing Rinaldo’s direction.

The hit itself is relatively clean. Rinaldo does not use his elbows and the primary point of contact appears to be Ericsson’s chest.

As NBC Sports Network’s Brian Engblom says in the broadcast, Ericsson put himself in a vulnerable position for looking back to making his pass. But where Rinaldo may be in trouble is that he takes a good 4 or 5 strides, lining him up, before delivering the blow.

That’s where the charging call came in. And that’s where he could face a suspension.

Rinaldo will be on the conference call with Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. The decision may not be announced quickly, depending on Shanahan’s other workload for the day, since the Flyers don’t play again until Thursday night.

WEAK STREAK: Great column by our own stat guru Bob Vetrone about why the Detroit Red Wings’ streak, in which they tied the 1975-76 Flyers on Sunday night with 20 straight home wins, is fraudulent

Why? Because the Flyers’ streak was actually wins, without the benefit of 3 shootouts and one overtime wins. In 1975-76, the Wings’ streak would have been an “unbeaten streak” instead of a “winning” streak.

PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1: Did you notice that Max Talbot was booed loudly at Joe Louis Arena when he scored in the second period to give the Flyers a lead? It wasn't because the Flyers scored, either.

The Red Wings fans haven’t forgotten when Talbot singlehandedly delivered Pittsburgh a Stanley Cup on their turf. Back of June 12, 2009, Talbot scored twice to give the Penguins a 2-1 win in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Sunday was just Talbot’s third game back at the Joe since then.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers