It did not take long before the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs saw its first fight break out. Right on the very first day of the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs provided the fireworks with their fists, a skirmish that ended with Bolts defenseman Jan Rutta bleeding from the head.
Our first playoff fight 🏒
Morgan Rielly lands a direct hit on Jan Rutta
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) May 3, 2022
Prior to the start of this first-round series, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe expected the matchup with the Lightning to be an extremely physical one. Needless to say, he hit his prediction exactly. Keefe spoke about the on-ice violence between his team and the reigning Stanley Cup champions after the contest.
“We were physical when the game called for it,” Keefe said. “We handled their physicality well both in making plays and keeping the puck moving and not getting rattled by it.”
It was a tough loss for the Lightning, who lost 5-0 to Toronto on the road. The good thing for Tampa Bay is that it’s still too early in the series and it has a chance to even it all up on Wednesday before the action shifts to the Lightning’s territory.
The Lightning have some work to do defensively, having allowed Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs outshoot them in Game 1, 33-24. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who’s usually money in front of the net, will look to rebound strong in Game 2.