The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins kicked off what is expected to be one of the most exiting first round playoff series of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and thus far they have not disappointed.
After 20 minutes of play both teams have managed to recorded a goal a each and we have had a back and forth affair between the two sides. The Bruins seemed to get the better of the Leafs early on in the first period of Game 1, but once the young Maple Leafs settled down a little they seemed to grab some of that control away from the Bruins. At the very least you would have to say that the Leafs had a surge in their play during the later stages of the first period.
One of the big focuses for this series is on the play of both Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov as well as the play of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand. Both men are known as players who like to get under the skin of their opposition and in the late stages of the first period we were treated to a rather hilarious interaction between the two men.
Komarov had just delivered a solid hit on Marchand a few moments earlier when the puck came sliding up along the boards, and both Komarov and Marchand arrive at the same time to do battle for possession. Komarov gave Marchand another bump and this time the Bruins forward responded by delivering several vicious looking crosschecks to the back of his Maple Leafs counterpart, but they weren't done there.
The two men got right up into one another's faces and that's when the unthinkable happened, Marchand appeared to plant a big wet one right on the cheek of Komarov, and if it was meant to throw him off of his game I don't think it worked at all. Komarov could be seen skating away from the incident with a huge smile on his face, probably laughing at the absurdity of it all, although he was undoubtedly stinging a little bit from those crosschecks he took on the back.
Marchand himself seemed to be getting a big kick out of the whole thing as he was also smiling from ear to ear as the two men broke apart, a sign that these two men are probably nowhere close to being done battling with one another throughout this series. That being said though the crosschecks from Marchand is much more what you expect, the kisses not so much.
Needless to say the incident has caused a massive reaction on social media, and a lot of the feedback has been focused on fans lashing out at Marchand for his behavior on the ice. That though is likely a product of his reputation and there's no doubt that a player like Marchand has had to develop a thick skin towards that kind of fan criticism over the years. Although off the top of my head I can remember him getting roasted for a kissing another player in the past before, but I could be wrong.
Photo Credit: Keystone Press