Leafs Forward Suspended One Game


On Tuesday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford would be suspended for game two of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Tampa Bay Lightning for boarding.

Midway through the first period of game one, Clifford targeted Lightning forward Ross Colton from behind who was in a very vulnerable position with the puck. As a result, Clifford was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his hit. 

Alongside Wayne Simmonds, Clifford was in the lineup to bring sandpaper to the Leafs for the playoffs. While he did show his physical play, it costed him one playoff game.  However, Clifford is a first time offender, with that being said his punishment isn't as harsh as if he had done this before. Also the fact that he had already been given a game misconduct, gives him a lighter punishment than had he just received a minor penalty for the same situation.

Following his ejection, the Maple Leafs killed the five-minute powerplay for the Lightning which gave them the momentum to going on and shutout the Lightning 5-0 in the opening game of the 2022 NHL playoffs. After the victory, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon  Keefe called Clifford's hit a "poor decision." 

In 26 games with the Leafs this season, Clifford put up a goal and two assists along with 31 penalty minutes. The Leafs will be looking to continue on their momentum without Clifford in game two on Wednesday night. The game can be caught on CBC or Sportsnet.

Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports