For the third time in a month, a Dallas Stars player was injured as a result of a controversial hit. This latest instance involved superstar rookie John Klingberg, and Zac Rinaldo, a guy who has been disciplined by the NHL almost as much as he's played.
We can only hope Klingberg isn't out for very long.
For those of you who haven't seen the hit, here it is below.
And here's a closer angle, courtesy of @myregularface.
Before we analyze the hit, let's go over what the NHL defines as "charging."
It's important to note that the "three steps or more" provision that is commonly associated with charging isn't actually stated in the rulebook. The main point of emphasis the league places on charging is distance traveled.
With that in mind, let's break down the hit.
Rinaldo has just jumped onto the ice. The puck is in the Stars' zone, and Alex Goligoski is racing to beat the Flyers' forecheck.
Four seconds later, Rinaldo is in the Stars' zone skating at nearly full speed.
22 frames later (almost 3/4ths of a second in 30fps video), Klingberg passes the puck to Ales Hemsky. Rinaldo has Klingberg lined up for a big hit.
Another 22 frames later, Rinaldo makes contact with Klingberg. Hemsky has the puck in the neutral zone.
No call was made on the hit, and Klingberg did not finish the third period.
What exactly is Rinaldo's "distance traveled" in this hit? Is it right at the moment he hits the ice until he makes contact with Klingberg? If so, that's more than the width of a NHL rink he traveled. Or, is it from the moment he lines Klingberg up and hits him nearly 3/4ths of a second after he passed it to Hemsky? That "distance" is nearly the diameter of a faceoff circle, or 30 feet.
Either way, both distances are pretty significant considering Rinaldo was going full speed into Klingberg when he made the hit. A significant part of the charging rule is left up to the discretion of the referees.
So, you tell us. Did Zac Rinaldo deserve a charging penalty for this hit? If so, does he deserve supplemental discipline?