Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kyle Clifford (73) returns to the bench after scoring in the course of the second interval of the workforce’s NHL hockey sport towards the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Feb. 18, 2020. Clifford was suspended one sport following a vicious hit simply 7 minutes into Sport 1 of the Leafs’ playoff-opening collection towards Tampa. (Gene J. Puskar, Related Press)
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RIDING THE PINE — All people loves playoff hockey.
All people, that’s, besides perhaps professional hockey enforcer Kyle Clifford. Or perhaps he simply loves it somewhat an excessive amount of.
The Toronto Maple Leafs ahead was assessed a one-game suspension for a vicious hit he dished out simply seven minutes into Sport 1 of the Leafs’ playoff debut towards Tampa Bay.
Clifford was assessed a significant penalty for boarding and a sport misconduct when he sent Lightning forward Ross Colton face-first into the glass — just moments after another big (and ultimately legal) check towards Tampa Bay defenseman Jan Rutta.
The NHL’s division of participant security, which issued the suspension following a listening to Tuesday that included Clifford, described the incident as “a forceful hit to a defenseless participant who’s not in possession of the puck” in a video clarification.
Clifford was dinged with the penalty, however the Leafs simply killed off the five-minute energy participant earlier than happening to roll to a 5-0 win over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning.
Now he’ll miss Wednesday’s Sport 2 in Toronto, as properly.
“(Clifford’s) bought to toe the road. And that is not a straightforward ask for a participant like him,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe informed the media Tuesday earlier than the suspension was introduced. “If you’re him, you need to get on high of the opposition rapidly, you need to end your checks, you need to make your mark bodily.
“He simply completed a great verify (on Rutta), and the constructing’s type of erupting. After which impulsively, there is a second verify there. It is a split-second determination, and it wasn’t a great one for him. However he is aware of that. … He is been across the sport a very long time and has performed that means a very long time. He paid for it in that second. We paid for it as a workforce.”