Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kasperi Kapanen throws stick, gets mocked by Canadiens’ Max Domi

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen made a mistake when he decided to throw his stick in the third period of the team’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

While killing a penalty, the 23-year-old had his stick broken in two by Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry’s slapshot. Kapanen was left with only the shaft and decided to toss the remainder of his tool at Petry’s feet as the blueliner regained control of the puck. 

While you must drop a broken stick immediately, it is how he did it that impacted the game. His play violated Rule 53.6 in the 2019-20 NHL official rules: if a “stick or other object is thrown or shot at the puck or puck carrier in the defending zone, preventing a reasonable shot or pass” the referee may award a penalty shot. 

Because Petry was the aggrieved player in question, he was afforded the opportunity to go one-on-one with Toronto goalie Michael Hutchinson to tie the game. Petry didn’t miss; he sent a shot past Hutchinson low glove side to even it all up at four goals apiece with seven minutes to play.

Canadiens forward Max Domi could then be seen mocking Kapanen from the bench after the play, appearing to call him a “f—ing idiot.”

After the game, Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock told reporters he had never seen that exact play before. He said he will talk to Kapanen about it, but opted not to immediately since “he’s going to have enough people telling him.”

“I’m sure [Kapanen] feels bad and he’d like to have it back, but you can’t get it back,” Babock said. “So, we’ve all got to learn from it. The lessons are important during the year and we got one.”

Both Kapanen and Hutchinson expressed surprise that throwing a stick could earn the other side a penalty shot.

Kapanen said while nobody in the room had confronted him about the mistake yet, he takes full responsibility for his actions.

“I know everybody knows it’s a big mistake on my part,” he said. “And if I knew that rule existed or if I thought I was actually going to hit his stick, I wouldn’t have done that.”

Phillip Danault scored a few minutes later give Montreal a 5-4 lead, but Auston Matthews’ second goal of the game sent the contest to overtime.

The Canadiens ultimately won the game in a shootout.

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