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Zac Rinaldo not worried about Canadiens, but he’s paying attention to Department of Player Safety 10.09.15 at 5:53 pm ET
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Zac Rinaldo made his Bruins debut Thursday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

After drawing both a penalty and the ire of some Jets in his Bruins debut, Zac Rinaldo can expect nothing short of chaos in his second game.

Saturday night will mark Rinaldo’€™s 11th career game against the Canadiens, but his first against them as a Bruin. Considering that Rinaldo’€™s hated by plenty of opponents to begin with, he could be a welcome addition to a rivalry that has always invited madness.

Given that he considers himself an energy player, he wasn’€™t exactly energetic when asked about entering the Boston-Montreal rivalry. That’€™s because he prides himself on taking all opponents seriously.

“I never have embraced one specific team because of the rivalry of each team,” Rinaldo said Friday. “If I have personal issues with someone on the ice, I’€™ll keep that to myself and I’€™ll deal with that when that time comes, but I’€™ve never taken a more [seriously], I’€™d never work harder against the Montreal Canadiens than I’€™ll work against the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks or LA Kings. I’€™m going to play every game the same way I play every team in the league.”

Rinaldo obviously didn’€™t see the result he wanted from his first game with the B’€™s, but he did take a positive from Thursday’€™s 6-2 loss. After watching Patrice Bergeron catch an elbow to the face from Winnipeg forward Alexander Burmistrov, Rinaldo said he was impressed that Bergeron went after the player rather than trying to milk a better call than the minor that was assessed.

Rinaldo, who has been suspended multiple times in his career for a total of 14 games, said he told Boston’€™s alternate captain after the play that he was impressed by the character he showed.

“A lot of guys in Bergeron’€™s situation, they would have dove,’€ Rinaldo said. “… I told him, I said, ‘€˜I really appreciate you not going down like that, you’€™re not flopping around on the ice and acting like you’€™re hurt. Instead, you got up and you dealt with your business like a grown man should and like a leader should.’€™ That was unbelievable on his part.”

Rinaldo knows dirty hits well, having committed his fair share in his young career. Though his reputation makes him a target capable of drawing penalties, a lot of the shots he takes could go uncalled by officials because of his past sins.

That means that if Rinaldo wants to avoid getting suspended again, he’€™s going to have to put up with more than he dishes out. Rinaldo said he held up on multiple plays Thursday against the Jets because he’€™s trying to be more cautious of getting suspended. After seeing Sharks forward Raffi Torres slapped with a 41-game ban for his preseason hit on Jakob Silfverberg, Rinaldo said he’€™s taking the Department of Player Safety much more seriously.

“Raffi’€™s a great guy,” Rinaldo said. “I met him in the summer and we both understand how hard it is to make that right decision. It’€™s a quick millisecond — not even, quicker than that — but it did open my eyes. My family and my friends told me to watch out because they’€™re not messing around. They want to make a mark and they did that. It really opened my eyes.”

Rinaldo’€™s gone one game as a Bruin without crossing the line, and he intends to make it a lot longer than that. The Canadiens have brought out the worst in guys like Milan Lucic in the past, so Saturday will be a bigger test of his restraint.

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Strength in numbers: Bruins will have most new players in an opening night under Claude Julien 10.08.15 at 1:28 pm ET
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The only time Claude Julien had more new faces to open a season with the Bruins, his was technically the new one.

“My first year I had over twenty new guys,” Julien said Thursday morning with a grin. “I didn’€™t know anybody, right?”

When Julien and the Bruins begin the season Thursday night, he will likely have five players making their Bruins debuts in Jimmy Hayes, Matt Beleskey, Joonas Kemppainen, Matt Irwin and Zac Rinaldo. That ties 2007-08, Julien’€™s first season with the B’€™s, as the most new Bruins in an opening night lineup in the Julien era, not counting backup goalies.

Between Julien’€™s first season and now, the most new Bruins on an opening night was three, which came in 2010-11 (Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell, Tyler Seguin) and 2013-14 (Jarome Iginla, Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith). The Bruins have often had remarkably little roster turnover. Last season, for example, Bobby Robins was the only newbie in the lineup to begin the season.

Of course, players such as Robins who were in the organization beforehand had at least some comfort level with the B’€™s. All five of the new Bruins for Thursday’€™s opener were brought in this offseason in either trades or free agency. The number could have been even higher Thursday, but trade acquisition Colin Miller and 2009 sixth-round pick Tyler Randell are expected to be healthy scratches.

‘€œI think it’€™s been a good three-plus weeks where we’€™ve been able to kind of work individually as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,’€ Julien said. ‘€œEverything right now, we’€™re pleased with it, we’€™re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too. I don’€™t have any issues with the number of new players. I just have a preoccupation with getting the whole group ready to play here tonight.’€

Beleskey will play on David Krejci‘€™s line with David Pastrnak, while Hayes will start off playing left wing with Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly. Kemppainen and Rinaldo will skate on the fourth line with Chris Kelly. The only newcomer expected on the blue line Thursday, Irwin figures to be paired with Zach Trotman.

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Zac Rinaldo: ‘The way I piss people off is the way I play’ 09.22.15 at 1:58 pm ET
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Zac Rinaldo is entering his first season as a Bruin. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Zac Rinaldo is entering his first season as a Bruin. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

There was no surprise more pleasant in Sunday night’€™s preseason opener than Zac Rinaldo drawing a pair of penalties, neither of which came after the whistle and both of which led to Matt Irwin goals.

Speaking to Rinaldo about it Tuesday, he wasn’€™t very surprised. The oft-suspended fourth-liner said that he feels he can draw penalties during the course of play rather than after the whistle.

“With me, the way I piss people off is the way I play. I play hard, I play physical. Me doing that alone, I don’€™t even got to talk and guys hate me,” Rinaldo said. “I can hit everyone and just play hard and be physical on the puck. Guys don’€™t like that and they’€™ll get frustrated and take it out on me.

“My speed, too. My speed down low. They can’€™t handle me down low sometimes and they have to hold me up. You saw it in the preseason game. They [took] two penalties on me just because of my speed alone. I didn’€™t even get a couple hits to piss [them] off.”

Rinaldo said he intentionally stayed out of scrums Sunday against the Devils. Asked if he likes going into scrums with the objective of getting the opponent to take a penalty, Rinaldo was borderline offended.

“I’€™m not going to fake a fall-down or do something just to antagonize a guy, to draw a penalty,” he said. “That’€™s not me. I don’€™t fake the game like that.

Added Rinaldo: “I don’€™t fake. I’€™m a straight-up guy on the ice. I’€™m not going to fake an injury or pretend I’€™m hurt just to draw a penalty. I’€™m not like that and I hate guys who do that.”

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Bruins trade for Zac Rinaldo, seemingly on purpose 06.29.15 at 3:51 pm ET
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The Bruins continued their bewildering offseason Monday by swinging a trade with the Flyers for forward Zac Rinaldo.

Boston sent a third-round pick in the 2017 draft to Philadelphia for Rinaldo, a 25-year-old who has more games served in suspensions (14) than he has goals scored in his NHL career (eight). The most notable part of the Ontario native’s career to date was when he was handed an eight-game ban for this hit on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.

Rinaldo has two years remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $850,000. He was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Flyers in 2008.

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Video: Brendan Shanahan explains Milan Lucic suspension, says history influenced decision 12.19.11 at 3:06 pm ET
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Courtesy of, here’s the video of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan breaking down Milan Lucic‘s one-game suspension. Shanahan says that the fact that Lucic is a repeat offender influenced the decision.

“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Lucic’s hit from behind on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.

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