CALGARY – The man who turned his stick to celebrate is angry now that he contributed to the Oilers' victory on Saturday.
Frustrated, angry, and somewhat confused by the backlash after his Jose Bautista-style celebration last Wednesday, David Rittich said Monday that he would not apologize and would do it again.
His trainer feels different.
"Everyone who is here knows me, I'm an emotional guy," said the Flames-Netminder.
"I didn't do it to make someone angry. I mean we can't celebrate in this league anymore or what? I didn't want to do anything wrong – I just celebrate and that's all."
The Oilers clearly insulted his lively celebration after his poke check against Leon Draisaitl and informed him on Saturday when the Czech all-star ran after the draw on the bank of the opposition.
The twittering surprised him because the happy goalkeeper has an element of naivety that is part of his charm.
Most hockey players actually thought that his exaggerated celebration was not well received.
It is difficult for him to understand why.
"I mean there are a lot of reasons – it's the Battle of Alberta," said Rittich shrugging.
"I don't know if it's a stick blow. Frankly, I don't even want to talk about it. If someone is mad at me, just be mad at me. I'll do it next time (too). Honestly "I am the guy who shows my feelings, who celebrates goals, who celebrates victories and it is what it is. Why should I change? My personality is why I am in the NHL, so I will not change anything."
Home of the Flames
Stream all 82 Flames games this season with Sportsnet NOW. Get over 500 non-blackout NHL games, including Hockey Night in Canada, all outdoor games, the All Star game, 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and more.
After the Oilers' 8-3 win on Saturday, Leon Draisaitl revealed that Rittich's celebration was disrespectful, "as if he had won the Stanley Cup".
Mike Smith, his former team-mate, pointed out that sometimes "what goes around comes around".
Flames interim coach Geoff Ward said his team had to be a bit more careful in the celebration department.
"You have to be aware of that," said Ward.
“I can fall back on the Stanley Cup Final 2011 and all the things that have affected our emotional level as a team from Vancouver. It's all in the same direction:
Bergeron's fingers bite (Patrice); Goalkeeper verbally pursuing Tim Thomas; They made fun of an old Johnny Bucyk jacket that we used as players of the game – they commented on how petty it was and that it was bantam hockey.
“In Boston we lived on emotions. I think if you win, say little. If you lose, say less. It's one of those things where you don't want to feed it emotionally. We have learned an important lesson from this. "
This conversation will no doubt soon be shared with Rittich.
Rittich's mood was better at the beginning of the conversation when asked about the goalkeeper's first fight with Alberta Cam Talbot and Smith at the Battle of Alberta.
"The first thing that came to my mind was" that was my fight, "said Rittich, who was drawn in the second half after allowing four goals.
“When I saw Talbs attacking him, I hoped and wanted him to win. But it was great what he did. "
Would he have fought against his former teammate?
"I don't really care – I'll fight everyone," he smiled.
"It doesn't matter whether it's Smitty or someone else."
Has he ever been in a fight?
"No, but it's kind of a bucket list for me," said Rittich.
"I want to be in this fight."