Blog Entry

Anisimov move sets off scrum; Downie leaves bench

Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 11:35 pm

By Brian Stubits

New York Rangers forward Artem Anisimov didn't make himself any friends on the Tampa Bay Lightning roster on Thursday night. Especially Steve Downie.

In the second period of their game in Madison Square Garden, there was a really interesting sequence that unfolded. While on the power play, a Lightning slap shot took down Brett Connolly in front of the Rangers crease, leading to a breakout the other direction. The rush was finished off by Artem Anisimov scoring a goal. The place was excited.

Then all hell broke loose. Relatively speaking, of course.

Obviously pleased with his effort and the go-ahead goal, Anisimov felt like celebrating. That's all fine and dandy, until he decided to pretend his stick is a gun and aim right for Mathieu Garon and the Lightning net. Vincent Lecavalier wasn't happy as you might expect.

The ensuing scrum resulted in four minutes of roughing for Marc-Andre Bergeron, two for roughing on Steven Stamkos, two minutes for roughing on Downie and a 10-minute misconduct, four minutes for Brandon Dubinsky on roughing, two minutes to Anisimov for unsportsmanlike conduct, four for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. Phew!

"It was just classless," Stamkos said after the game. (Quotes courtesy of @AGrossRecord, @DaveLozo, @KatieStrangESPN, @NYDNRangers)

"It's wrong, we all know that," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It's the wrong thing to do. He's a solid, solid guy who made a mistake. He's not an idiot."

"I guess I'm in a protective mode because he deserves to be protected."

Tortorella went on to say that Anisimov apologized for his celebration and that he'll be available to the media on Friday. Nor did Tortorella blame his former team, the Lightning, for their reaction, admitting that Anisimov crossed a line.

"Artie's not doing it to do anything against their team," Brad Richards added. "Artie won't do that again. He wasn't trying to embarrass anybody."

That would have been the end of and the sportsmanship of Anisimov would have been the only remaining talking point for the next few days.

That's until you see the replay again and wonder, where did Downie come from to join that scrum? That's right, the bench. That means an automatic suspension is coming his way -- if it's determined it wasn't a line change. That could be the one thing that saves Downie if they decide he was coming onto the ice for the next shift after goal, but it sure doesn't look that way.

Eric Godard learned the suspension lesson last year with the Penguins. Making it worse, Downie doesn't have a pristine reputation. Brendan Shanahan might add more games on to what could be a long suspension.

In the end, it was the Lightning getting the last laugh, winning in a shootout after a late comeback to end their five-game losing streak.

But back to the original celebration. Are you OK with Anisimov going gunny on the Lightning?

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Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:11 pm

Anisimov move sets off scrum; Downie leaves bench

DEFINITELY let's not have the line drawn so that it is "ok", in front of kids, to mimic that you are shooting a rifle at the goalie.  For Christ's Sake!

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:57 am

Anisimov move sets off scrum; Downie leaves bench

but having players with personalities sure can't hurt.
Good call.   Tortorella said after the game that he didn't think he knew how much antagonizing he was really doing and that he didn't blame TB for the response.   Good stuff.    By all accounts, Anisimov isn't some kind of jerk or anything, so it was kind of nice to see a celebration a little different from the big "man-hug" that we've grown so accustomed to seeing.   I'm not sure if I want T.O. type stuff, but a little more "flash" may do some good.    Good opportunity to get some story lines going too, as long as there isn't too much brawling.    I'm still not sure if where the line should be drawn.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 1:17 am

Anisimov move sets off scrum; Downie leaves bench

There are a lot of "old school" thoughts here so I thought I'd take a different approach.  Hockey could do with some celebrating, something to make the players more distinguishable in the cookie-cutter helmits.  Football players are allowed a small amount of celebration.  Is taunting the oppossing team the problem?  C'mon!!!!  You know that there is plenty of taunting and macho trash-talk going on down on ice level.  This was just an enthusiastic celebration with physical trash-talking aimed at the Tampa goalie.  If the other team (the tauntees) wish to physically recipricate, there will be repurcussions.  Hockey fights may not be the way to win new fans but having players with personalities sure can't hurt.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:12 am

Anisimov move sets off scrum; Downie leaves bench

Honestly, who gives a rat's a$$? If it weren't for the'net, things like this wouldn't be a "story".

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 10:30 pm

Anisimov move sets off scrum; Downie leaves bench

I sure wouldn't wanna play against Downie.  Guy has a long list of over the top dirty acts.  Any player who has slashed a ref on the leg should be banned for life.

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