Finnish goaltender Teemu Lassila has accomplished a lot in his career. He has been a medalist in Finland’s Liiga, he’s won goaltender of the month honors in the KHL and he’s even captured World Championship gold. But when the 32-year-old netminder retires, one of the plays he’ll likely be best remembered for is an ugly slash to the face of an opponent.
In Wednesday’s Liiga game between Lassila’s TPS Turku and Porin Assat, Lassila was out to play the puck behind his net with former NHLer Josh Gratton skating towards him. Lassila beat Gratton to the puck and was able to move it up the boards, but after getting a slight bump from Gratton, Lassila swung his stick violently and caught Gratton in the face with the back edge of the paddle:
You can barely see the slash take place in the first angle, but the zoomed-in second angle and the third, reverse angle are enough to make you cringe.
Lassila was handed a five-minute major for slashing and a game misconduct for his actions. It’s impossible to tell what must have been going through Lassila’s mind at the moment he swung his stick. The incident came less than four minutes into the game, and Gratton finished the contest with less than four minutes of ice time. Regardless of Lassila’s intent, he’ll deserve every ounce of punishment headed his way.
Assat did manage a goal on the ensuing power play, and went on to win the contest 3-1.
Gratton posted a picture of himself post-game, and it was a scary sight: