Zac Rinaldo Strives to bring Tenacity to Boston Bruins


Love him or hate him, Zac Rinaldo finally arrived in Boston on Tuesday for the first time as a member of the Black and Gold.  The recently acquired forward got a chance to walk around the city and check in with the Boston media at the TD Garden for the first time since being acquired on June 29th for a third round pick in 2017.

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The feisty, antagonistic, penalty magnet that has been Rinaldo spoke with Jess Isner of about how he fits in with the mold of the Bruins and what he can bring to the organization.

"“Energy, tenacity, and a lot of courage.  I’m here to block shots, I’m here to do everything to help the team win a game, night in and night out.”"

Rinaldo takes a great deal of heat from fans and media alike in that his wreck-less brand of hockey and reputation for being a “goon” lands him in the sin bin far too often, racking up 102 penalty last season.  Pair that with him seemingly being allergic to scoring goals, and that makes him a liability on the bottom six.

What he does bring to the table is a willingness to throw his body around.  Rinaldo tallied over 200 hits in just 58 games for the Flyers last year, which was more than any Bruin save for Milan Lucic.  A willingness to pay a physical price to wear down the opposition wasn’t apparent for a Bruins squad that seemed both complacent and disinterested on far too many nights last winter.

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    : Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

    Rinaldo is without a doubt a guy who plays with his heart on his sleeve, which is a quality last year’s Bruins team lacked.  He brings with him an intensity and fearlessness that is hard to match.  That “difficult to play against” mentality that the Bruins used to bring with them when they took the ice needs to be brought back for this team to regain its swagger.  The necessity for that to happen has the Rinaldo deal making a lot more sense, as he joins a team that could use a shot in the arm.

    Rinaldo, at times, is his own worst enemy.  Getting caught up in the heat of a hockey game has come back to haunt him way too many times in penalty minutes and league suspensions, and that has to be corrected for him to bring anything positive to the club.  He told Comcast Sports Mike Giardi that he doesn’t plan on getting suspended, and intends to clean up his game so he can bring more to the table.  “I’m here to improve my game in all scenarios.  They know I can fight, know I can hit.  I’m here to do more.”

    If nothing else, Rinaldo brings a gritty style of play that can spark a hockey club and rub off on those around him.  And if he can manage to stay out of the penalty box (that’s a big “if”) then the Bruins may have some limited upside in Rinaldo as Sweeney tries to shore up the fourth line with a more tenacity, a factor that has been absent since the days of Shawn Thornton.

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