There's a video circulating on the Internets this afternoon, passed along to us by John Fontana of Raw Charge, showing a Boston Bruins player angrily squirting water on a cheering, heckling Tampa Bay Lightning fan as the team heads off the ice and down the locker room tunnel after Game 6 at St. Pete Times Forum.
The video was taken by a fan positioned right above the locker room tunnel, and the fun part kicks in around the 1:20 mark.
It's not a very crisp video and we can't see faces, but we've done some detective work to try to figure out exactly which Bruins player is the culprit here. It's Nathan Horton, and we'll explain how we got to that conclusion after the jump.
The player comes off the ice, so it has to be one of the players who was on the ice at the final horn: Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Horton, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara or Dennis Seidenberg.
We can immediately rule out Chara and Seidenberg, because those guys are like conjoined twins these days. So it's one of Lucic, Horton, Bergeron or Krejci.
Krejci was too busy being hit in the head with noisemakers, so it wasn't him. That narrows it down to three players, and a look at the reverse angle, captured from the Versus telecast, shows us the culprit. Watch beginning at the :28 second mark, and you can clearly see No. 18 reach down, grab the water bottle and reach up.
Thanks for that convenient pause, YouTube guy. Combine the angles and you have Nathan Horton committing the foul. It's pretty conclusive too.
So what should happen to him? This obviously isn't on the same level as the incident from earlier this season, when Rick Rypien went after a fan in the stands in Minnesota. He was suspended six games.
Surely, some people will blame the Lightning fan, who clearly goes out of his way to get over to the tunnel and yell at the Bruins. And some will blame the crowd in general for throwing those noisemakers, despite the fact that they clearly weren't throwing them at the Bruins -- they were scattered on every single inch of the ice surface, not just near the bench.
But if there's one thing we know, the fans are sacred property, and they're allowed to get away with more than a player can. If the fan actually physically attacks, as a Flyers fan did with Tie Domi years ago, then fine.
But Horton has to hold back here. In fact, he even goes out of his way a bit to grab the water bottle and get the fan. He was clearly hot-headed, getting a penalty at the 20:00 minute mark, and he simply let his emotions get the best of him.
At the end of the day, is it really a big deal? No, it's just water. But that doesn't mean Horton comes out looking good, either. If this were the regular season, I'd expect a game suspension. In the playoffs, right before Game 7?
He'll get a fine and we'll never hear about it again, Lightning fans will likely complain about a miscarriage of justice, etc.
Read more on the Eastern Conference Final at our Lightning vs. Bruins series hub. Get local coverage on the Bruins at SB Nation Boston and Stanley Cup of Chowder. Get local coverage on the Lightning at Raw Charge and SB Nation Tampa Bay.