The Calgary Flames’ best defenceman in the season-opening loss, according to head coach Darryl Sutter, was Rasmus Andersson. But the 24-year-old was also responsible for a double minor (elbowing and roughing) that proved costly on the scoresheet of the 5-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton.
Costly on the scoresheet, and costly on the pocketbook. Andersson was fined the maximum $5,000 by the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety for what initially looked like it might have been a head-butt on Kailer Yamamoto, but reverse angles suggested it might have been just an awkward punch.
“There was no head-butt,” Andersson told reporters on Sunday. “I got a $5,000 fine for roughing and not a headbutt. In my opinion, I did not try, or I didn’t headbutt him.”
The video backs up his story.
Here's a slow motion look at Rasmus Andersson's hit on Kailer Yamamoto pic.twitter.com/M2MXgkLM2G
— Oilersnation.com, Oily Since ‘07 (@OilersNation) October 17, 2021
Andersson took offence to the extra time and interest Yamamoto had around the net, and he was reacting to what he thought was a slash. Sutter has preached the importance of protecting their goaltender throughout camp, but Andersson admittedly took things a bit too far.
“I thought he kind of slashed (goalie Jacob Markstrom),” Andersson said. “When I saw it afterwards, it was our sticks that hit the post. I kind of just heard him slash him. I kind of elbowed/punched him and there was an altercation. Then he pulled my bucket down. I didn’t really see it, but when he pulled my bucket down, I thought we were fighting. It felt like he ripped off my glove. I thought we were fighting.”
No harm done, aside from the resulting Oilers goal on the powerplay. And if the Calgary Flames play the same way against the Anaheim Ducks in their home opener on Monday – minus the penalties – they should have a great chance to win.