Calgary Flames defenceman Rasmus Andersson unwittingly became the villain Monday night but said he had no ill-intentions of ruining a special moment for Ottawa Senators rookie goaltender Filip Gustavsson.
Gustavsson made 35 stops in Ottawa's 2-1 win and at the end of the game, Andersson scooped the puck off the ice and skated to the bench with it, only to get yelled at by Senators forward Brady Tkachuk. Andersson threw the puck away before Tkachuk retrieved the memento to celebrate Gustavsson's career win.
Andersson said he wasn't trying to purposely take the puck away from Gustavsson.
"Honestly, it was in the heat of the moment," Andersson told reporters Tuesday. "I picked the puck up, and I didn't really think about anything. I was just really pissed off because they scored obviously a late one there. As soon as I realized it was his first NHL win and their whole team was yelling toward me, I chucked the puck back. It was nothing intentional or anything like that."
There is enough plausible deniability to believe Andersson's account of the event, even as tempers continue to escalate through the interdivisional format of the 2021 season. Andersson believes the Senators have already forgotten about it, too.
“I think [it is]. As I said it wasn’t anything intentional,” Andersson said. “It was his first NHL win and obviously he should get the puck. I wasn’t thinking ’I’m going to steal this puck’ or anything.”
In the grand scheme of things, it almost certainly was a misunderstanding and should be water under the bridge when the Flames and Senators square off Wednesday evening.
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