Mikhail Grabovski has had a sterling preseason. After resolving his visa issues, Grabo wasted no time establishing himself as a Belarusian assist machine, endearing himself to his teammates and Caps fans in the process.

Enter Zac Rinaldo, notorious Philly antagonist (317 PIMs in 98 games). The Flyer goon zeroed in on Grabo in the corner behind Neuvirth’s net. Rinaldo’s elbow hit Grabovski’s head, dropping the Caps center to the ice. Grabovski skated back to the bench under his own power and continued playing in the game. Rinaldo, on the other hand, received a five-minute major and game misconduct.

Alex Ovechkin scored on the ensuing power play from the Ovi spot. Naturally.

ovi spot

Below, some nasty GIF-fage of the hit.


Is Shanahan justice incoming? Surely. (Will former Flyers scout and current NHL nooseman Patrick Burke have to recuse himself? There’s a good Q.)

Here’s your boy Alan May’s take on the matter.  He’s not just a pretty head of hair, guys. He’s got hockey thoughts that you must take seriously:

GIF by Ian Oland.

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  • george w bush

    rinaldo with a dirty hit. what a shock.

  • Gringo Hank

    No elbow, no charge. Maybe a headshot, no suspension.

  • yv

    While Johnson saying that in slo-mo it looks like it is not a dirty hit, no elbow and skates on ice, this gif in fact shows that his skates are off ice, and he practically launching himself w/o slowing.

  • I see an elbow to the chin.

  • Priscilla

    If he’s hurt I will fall to my knees in the rain screaming silently while poignant music plays.

  • Troy

    The detailed “Ovi Spot” diagram helped lighten the mood 😉

  • Troy

    Blatant elbow to the chin, not on the initial contact, but you can’t finish a check with an elbow under the chin like that. 3 games.

  • Chris

    Remove the instigator rule, remove the additional fines to teams/coaches for players coming off the bench and let the players police themselves. When Zac Rinaldo realizes a guy like Dave Semenko or Marty McSorley will be bearing down on him in 10 seconds for making cheap shots, there won’t be as many. The NHL claims their goal is to protect the players, but it doesn’t seem to stop these types of hits from happening, so let the players sort it out.

  • Tommy

    If Rinaldo is worth 5 minutes, Erskine will smash it out of him 30 seconds at a time.

  • Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    what kind of skates is that? i know its Bauer.. but its not the APX2 and it doesnt look like anything bauer makes.. ??

  • Max

    In honor of Graboovski, I say RMNB creates their first pair of shorts/pants…. labeled…. “Grab ASS” of course

  • Max

    Or shirt- so the guys can buy them lol

  • Max

    even if its a headshot it should be a suspension- thats the standard

  • Freedoooom

    Its only elbowing if the elbow is out of position, its a headshot though for sure though.

    Tim Panaccio said he had been told not to expect any supplementary discipline.

  • RonTrabaroe

    Yet Volpatti’s elbow to Grossmann’s head isn’t noteworthy? Well then…

  • Nick Hauser

    Yea… Nothing came of this. Shanahan should be out…

  • MikeLatoris

    Reminds me of the hit Stevens put on Lindros. Rinaldo should get the same suspension….. wait. Rinaldo should ask to be traded to a team that does not have orange and black jerseys.

  • Benji

    I like this blog, but it is clear that you guys (as you admit) have never played hockey. That was definitely not an elbow; at worst it shoulda been a 2min charging call. The real story here (as Grabo himself admits) is that he needs to keep his head up.

  • Dan

    Hey Chris, Dave Semenko? Is it 1982? Have you been in a coma? Rinaldo is 5’11, 170 and will go with ANYONE.