Talk about unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Calgary Flames tried to steal the game puck from Ottawa Senators rookie goalie Filip Gustavsson after he earned his first NHL win against them on Monday evening.
It was the first NHL start for the 22-year-old, who has been thrust into action due to injuries to fellow Sens’ goalies Matt Murray, Marcus Hogberg and Joey Daccord. Gustavsson was excellent in his NHL debut, stopping 35 of 36 shots to propel his team to a 2-1 victory.
It wasn’t easy for Ottawa to get the game puck for Gustavsson after the game, however. The Senators sent assistant captain Brady Tkachuk to go retrieve it, but someone on the Flames had already scooped it up.
After the horn sounded, Flames defenseman (and fellow Swede) Rasmus Andersson picked up the puck and tried to sneak off the ice with it. After he was caught by the ref and forced to drop it, Matthew Tkachuk then shot it away from his brother Brady and into Ottawa’s end.
Flames make it difficult for the Sens to get the game puck for 22-year-old Filip Gustavsson, who got his first NHL win pic.twitter.com/HtTctLVSlg
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 23, 2021
This is the type of unsportsmanlike behaviour you hate to see in hockey, especially in the most professional league in the world.
The Flames are clearly a frustrated group, losing consecutive games at the hands of the Leafs and Sens and managing just one total goal in the process. Ottawa has also taken four of six meetings with the Flames this season, outscoring them 23-18.
When asked about taking Gustavsson’s puck on Tuesday, Andersson told reporters that it was unintentional.
“I was just in the heat of the moment,” said Andersson. “I picked the puck up. As soon as I realized it was his first NHL win I chucked the puck back. It was his first NHL win and obviously you should get the puck.”
You might remember Brady Tkachuk was at the heart of a similar controversy in 2019 when he took the puck from Habs’ goalie Cayden Primeau after his first career NHL win. That was settled in the media post-game when Tkachuk stated he genuinely didn’t realize it was Primeau’s first victory in the NHL. The younger Tkachuk brother often grabs the puck after games and tosses it to a lucky fan.
It was another difficult loss for the Flames, but there are certainly more respectful ways for Rasmus Andersson to take out his frustration.