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Artem Anisimov Apologizes For His Sniper Rifle Goal Celebration (Video)

New York Rangers center Artem Anisimov apologized for his goal celebration where he used his stick as an improvised sniper rifle during the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night, calling his actions “classless.” Anisimov, a 23-year-old Russian in his fifth season of North American professional hockey who speaks limited English, also apologized to his teammates after the game. Rangers head coach John Tortorella went into “protective mode” in defense of the young player:

“He’s a great kid,” Tortorella said of Anisimov. “I don’t think he realized what would happen in that type of situation. And I don’t think that was planned by him to go that far. It’s a lesson learned pretty quickly.”

Unfortunately, Anisimov likely wishes he didn’t put himself — and consequently, his team — in a position to have to learn a lesson in the first place, because after a bit of a fracas ensued after his celebration, the Lightning turned into an extremely motivated squad and stormed back to beat the Rangers 3-2 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden.

In the end, it was simply a stupid move by a naive kid which shouldn’t result in any punishment or suspension. The embarrassment alone, paired with the loss, should be sufficient.