WILMINGTON – After missing the last couple of games with an upper body injury, Zac Rinaldo was back on the practice ice Monday morning with an eye toward possibly returning right before the three-day NHL holiday break. The Bruins agitator has missed each of the last three wins for Boston in the home-and-home series against the Penguins, and Sunday night’s shootout triumph over the New Jersey Devils.
He looked fine while going through line drills and battle drills at the 45-minute long practice, and said he’d be ready to play if needed on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues.

“I’d like to…yeah, I’d like to. I’m not sure if that’s the way it’s going to, but I’m ready to play,” said Rinaldo. “We have a good training staff, and they did a great job getting me back in the lineup as soon as they could. It’s just one of those things where you need to get better, so I did that and now I’m ready to go.”

The more interesting aspect of the situation was the B’s fourth liner claiming that linesmen David Brisebois was the one that caused the injury when he was separating Rinaldo and Matt Hendricks after the two of them scrapped in the Edmonton game a week ago.

“He was trying to keep me down, so I wouldn’t get up,” said Rinaldo. “I was coming up, and he cranked me down pretty hard.”

Rinaldo hit Jordan Eberle, and then was challenged by Hendricks to a quick fight in the B’s home loss to the Oilers. Then the linesmen got a little too aggressive with the B’s forward in his opinion, and Rinaldo was watching from the press box for the next three games.

“It is, unfortunately,” said Rinaldo, when asked if it’s the first time he’d been injured by a referee. “It’s unfortunate. It was after the fight too, so there was no reason to use that much force like the ref did. I don’t know…you can’t really give the ref [expletive].

“[Fighting] is part of hockey, but when the refs use their force after you just fought for 30 seconds, or a minute…that’s the last thing you want to deal with is a ref using all his strength, and all of his I don’t know what you want to call it to stop you from doing anything.”

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on Monday’s practice:







Seidenberg—C. Miller

Krug—K. Miller