There was a bit of an incident early on during the Tuesday night match up between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning, one that could have potentially impacted both teams well beyond just this evening.
First some context. the Bruins and Lightning are facing each other in what is an incredibly important game for both teams, a game that could very well determine which of these two teams finish at the top of the Atlantic Division for the 2017-2018 National Hockey League regular season. The Bruins entered the game with a 2 point lead over the Lightning in the standings, however the Lightning have a game in hand on the Bruins so it's possible for them to make up the ground, especially with a win tonight.
This is an incredibly important and contentious game for both teams, and that's why while this incident looked very much like an accident on the part of both men involved, you have to wonder if there may not have been some ill-intent behind it from one, or possibly both, of the men involved.
A little over halfway through the first period Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Boston Bruins agitator Brad Marchand were skating near center ice when they had a relatively nasty looking collision with one another. Both men appeared to be looking the wrong way at the time of impact and as a result they ended up going knee on knee with one another.
Marchand appeared to take the worst of it as he went sailing through the air and appeared to be in some considerable discomfort on the ice, staying down on his hands and knees for several minutes after the hit. McDoangh on the other hand seemed to be alright and jumped back into the play fairly quickly leaving Marchand behind to linger on the ice in pain.
Needless to say Marchand's reputation proceeds him and the Lightning crowd could be heard cheering the fact that he had just been injured, and those cheers increased as he hobbled his way back over to the Boston bench. Thankfully both guys look like they are going to be ok, but this could have turned out considerably worse for both of them.
Photo Credit: NHL