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Lightning rip Anisimov’s “point gun at Lecavalier” celebration

Dec 9, 2011, 11:45 AM EDT

Artem Anisimov‘s controversial goal celebration from last night’s 3-2 shootout loss to Tampa Bay has come under fire.

(Yes, that was a horrible pun.)

If you haven’t seen the incident yet, here’s the video:

Following the game, Tampa Bay was particularly harsh in its critiques.

Steve Stamkos: “It’s just classless. I think I’ve seen him do that once or twice before, so no surprise there. We got the win. He’ll know it’s in the back of our minds the next time we see him. But we’re not going to break focus because of that. We wanted to win the game and we did.

“I don’t know if you saw the replay, but he turned back and pointed the stick like a gun and shot it at Vinny. We don’t need that in our sport. For the most part, you don’t see that too much. But it happens once in a while and it’s dealt with.”

Vincent Lecavalier: “He points his stick like he fires at our net, I’m sure his teammates and their coach was not impressed with that. We were offended and it’s disrespectful. It’s not like he was happy to score a goal and did some type of (fist) pump; it was directly at our net and our goalie.”

Guy Boucher: “That was a gesture that I think proved the players were in it together. Vinny, the captain showing the way, in the fact that we are not going to take humiliation and he certainly set the tone for the rest of the game.”

The Rangers were also critical of Anisimov, though their critiques were much softer. The general consensus was “Artie knew what he did was wrong” and “Artie didn’t mean anything by it,” though head coach John Tortorella took a more fatherly approach.

“I guess I’m in a protective mode,” Tortorella said. “I think he deserves to be protected because I know who he is. I don’t blame Tampa at all as far as how they reacted. But I want to protect him. He’s a solid, solid guy that made a mistake that I still don’t think he really understands what he was doing there.”

Don’t expect this incident to go away anytime soon. It’s likely to land on the desk of NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan because Lightning forward Steve Downie left the bench to partake in the post-goal fracas.

  1. cjpunk15 - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    F the Rangers

  2. michiganhockey11 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    As a player and a huge follower of the sport I have to say I am conflicted. As a fan I am kind of saying, “Well, if you don’t want the celebration, stop them from scoring). Yes I realize they were a man down from a shot hitting their forward at the other end.

    As a player I am saying it was gutless and a disgrace. Don’t kind of leaning toward it being a disresepctful celebration. This isn’t the MLS or World Cup you know.

  3. pens919209 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Wait… did I hear the Rangers’ announcer say in the replay after the fight “I don’t know what set this off”? Really?

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Typical hot-shot Russian, what do you expect?

  5. jkay1818 - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    pens919209 – Dec 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM
    Wait… did I hear the Rangers’ announcer say in the replay after the fight “I don’t know what set this off”? Really?

    come on, actually when they showed the goal in the replay they both said “there it was” and went on to say how they dont like the taunting and see why they are upset.

    get a grip

  6. haterzgonahate - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    big effin deal! an awful lot of fuss being made over this. i don’t recall Jagr being chastised for his captains salute after almost every goal? what’s next? the NHL is going to tell Burrows he can’t do his Luc Bourdon bow n arrow salute after he scores?

    and enough with the words “class” and “classless”. it’s not a f&*kin popularity contest! the entire league is “classless” since Bettman took over.

    NHL = Bush league

  7. icedtearex - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    FIN players cant take a little celebration,even if it were taunting,its great for the fans. As for taking this to the NHL offices,GIVE ME A BREAK. The unending Americanization of this great game is turning it into something akin to golf. OLD TIME HOCKEY,EDDIE SHORE.

  8. merchaholic - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Vincent Lecavalier: “He points his stick like he fires at our net”

    Yup, sounds like a Sniper gesture and he wasn’t aiming it at any of the players. They need to jam some tampons up their pussies.

  9. bwayblues79 - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    This is what’s wrong with the NHL today. Not the celebration. The extremes of the players. Bitching about someone celebrating a goal, or nailing a guy with an elbow to the face. No one understands what’s appropriate anymore. Artie celebrated his goal in a taunting fashion, the Bolts got pissed, and a scrum broke out. I don’t see anything wrong with what happened on either side, aside from Downie leaving the bench. I also don’t see any difference at all between what Anisimov did and Teemu Selanne’s old “toss the glove up and shoot it out of the sky” celebration, Ovechkin’s “stick’s too hot to pick up” or any other combination of slides, fist pumps, or jumps against the glass.

    It’s hilarious for the fans of the team scoring, humiliating for the team scored against, and if you don’t like it, take it out on him through some gloved facewashes and hard checks. This is hockey. The Bolts got back by fighting the Rangers and by winning the game. To bitch about such a small issue on top of that doesn’t speak much for the team’s fortitude.

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