> NHL suspends Toronto’s Kyle Clifford following ‘dirty hit’ to Tampa’s Ross Colton NHL

NHL suspends Toronto’s Kyle Clifford following ‘dirty hit’ to Tampa’s Ross Colton

NHL suspends Toronto’s Kyle Clifford following ‘dirty hit’ to Tampa’s Ross Colton

  • Lightning
  • Maple Leafs
May 04
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kyle Clifford was thrown out of the playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

The decision came after the forward made a ‘dirty hit’ on Tampa’s center Ross Colton.

According to the NHL Department of Player Safety, the hit was enough to have Clifford ejected from the game and suspend him for Game 2 as well.

The hit took place during Clifford’s second shift in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series. This is the first time he has been suspended in his 12-year league career.

The NHL Department of Player Safety issued a statement, saying that Colton was defenseless when he was hit. On the play, Colton was sent face-first into the boards, but escaped serious injury.

“After Colton releases the puck, Clifford approaches from behind, and having seen nothing but Colton’s numbers for some time, delivers a forceful check to the defenseless Colton, driving him dangerously into the boards,” said the NHL department.

“It is important to note this is not a case where a sudden or unexpected movement by Colton prior to contact changes a legal check into an illegal one,” the NHL department added. “While we have heard an argument that Clifford does make some attempt to deliver this contact legally, this remains a forceful hit to a defenseless player who is no longer in possession of the puck.”

Despite Clifford’s absence, the Maple Leafs went on to win the game 5-0. They will face Tampa at home for Game 2 on Wednesday night.

“[Clifford’s] got to toe the line. And that’s not an easy ask for the player like him. When you’re him, you want to get on top of the opposition quickly, you want to finish your checks, you want to make your mark physically,

- Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe

  • Toronto Maple Leafs

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto. They compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference.

  • Kyle Clifford

    Kyle Frank Clifford is a Canadian ice hockey forward currently playing for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League .

  • Michael Bunting

    Michael Bunting is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger currently playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League .

  • NHL (video game series)

    NHL is a series of professional ice hockey simulation video games developed by EA Vancouver and published yearly by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports brand.