Fans are absolutely loving the first-round series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning. All five games have been incredibly entertaining, with a lot of goals and hard physical play, and Game 5 wasn’t any different.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had the chance to clinch a place in the second round with a win, but the Lightning refuses to quit, and after a 4-2 win, we’ll head to Tampa for Game 6. And there, Toronto may have to do without Mark Giordano.
At the end of Thursday’s second period, the veteran defenseman got trucked into the wall by non-other than Pat Maroon. Giordano fell to the ice in pain, and a huge scrum broke out, with Maple Leafs players trying to retaliate for Maroon’s hit. While the referees were trying to calm things down on the ice and get the penalty calls sorted, Giordano was helped into the locker room.
Giordano wasn’t back on the bench in time for the third period, and he didn’t return to the game.
Maroon was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for his hit on Giordano, and many thought it was fear, especially with Giordano getting injured in mind. But Paul Bissonnette and the crew on NHL on TNT didn’t agree.
”I don’t get it, I think it was a bad call,” former NHLer and TNT panelist Colby Armstrong said. ”What is going on?”
Paul Bissonnette agreed.
”I thought it was soft. That’s playoff hockey through and through.”
”The ref’s right there! I don’t get it. It’s driving me nuts,” Armstrong said.
The penalty call gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a chance to start the third period on a powerplay, a goal down 2-1. They didn’t manage to score, and the Lightning got away with a 4-2 win.