New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin explained to reporters why he threw his glove at Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand with 12 seconds left in the Blueshirts' 5-2 road win over the B's on Friday.
"I didn't really understand what he said in the moment because we had a little conversation with bad energy," Panarin said Saturday.
"Then I hear something about Russia in that moment, and then with that energy, that can't be something good about Russia. So, that's why I lose my mind and then I did what I did."
Panarin was born and raised in Korkino, located in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia.
Vincent Z. Mercogliano of Lohud.com explained the situation further:
"A person close to the situation told lohud.com, part of the USA TODAY Network, that Marchand touched a nerve with Panarin by evoking unfounded assault allegations made against him by former KHL coach Andrei Nazarov in February. He was accused of beating a young woman in 2011, but the accusations have been widely dispelled and were believed to be politically motivated.
"Panarin took a nine-game leave of absence to ensure the safety of his remaining family in Russia, which has made it a delicate subject. During training camp in September, he reiterated his preference not to discuss it.
"The person said that Marchand brought up Russian president Vladimir Putin, whom Panarin has been openly critical of in the past, and taunted Panarin by saying, 'Nobody in your country likes you.'"
The NHL announced that Panarin was fined $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct following the throw:
Panarin was clearly disturbed by Marchand's alleged comments and provided more remarks.
"I just can't control myself after those words," Panarin said. "It's important to think that I didn't start it. I didn't say good things about him, too, but I think when you touch country, it's different. Probably all Russians would want to defend their country."
Panarin also had some words regarding Marchand, who was not fined but received a matching misconduct penalty along with the 30-year-old Ranger.
"I don't like him for a long time," Panarin said. "A lot of people don't like him."
Panarin is in the third year of a seven-season, $81.5 million contract, so a $5,000 fine won't be too painful to pay up.
Plus, the Rangers are dominating with a 13-4-3 record through 20 games, including a three-game win streak. Panarin has five goals and 16 assists for 21 points.
So all is well for Panarin and the Rangers right now as they await the Philadelphia Flyers' arrival to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET for their next matchup.