After scoring his fifth goal of the season, a shorthanded tally in a tie game, Rangers center Artem Anisimov lowered the sights, pumped his stick, and let fly with one of the more demonstrative celebrations of the year. The Lightning took offense and swarmed Anisimov, setting off a penalty bonanza and setting the tone for a chippy rest of the game.
Vinny Lecavalier said it was "disrespectful," thinking the shotgun blast was aimed at goalie Mathieu Garon. Rangers coach John Tortorella called it outright "wrong." Anisimov apologized to everyone. Everyone agrees it was a bad, bad thing, maybe the worst thing to ever happen involving a Ranger.
The colorful display was not meant to "show up" the Lightning, Anisimov said. He first saw the creative celebration when his teammate in Yarolsavl, Lokomotiv defenseman Ilya Gorokhov, used it as his own personal flourish while playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey league.
"When he scored a goal, every goal he celebrated like this," said Anisimov, whose first language is Russian. "I watched him and I liked it and I told myself when I play NHL and I score I want to do the same thing."
The Lightning's anger may have had more to do with their five-game losing streak than anything else, and Puck Daddy points out the difference between Selanne setting a rookie scoring record and Anisimov putting home a wide open finish. But naturally the talk is already focused on the whole concept of goal celebrations in hockey. I would say let 'em celebrate, and I'd say it for every sport. No one ever turned off the TV because a player showed his excitement. And hockey alone possesses the opportunity for settling the score in-game: if you don't like what Anisimov does, you can run him when play starts up again.
Besides, the Lightning ended up scoring a late equalizer and winning in the shootout. Puck don't lie.