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Kyle Clifford attacks Bokonji Imama during final handshake
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Playoffs, no matter what the sport, are always emotional and intense.

Rivalries are at their fiercest.

In the American Hockey League, the Belleville Senators faced their rivals, the Toronto Marlies, and had the chance to eliminate them on Sunday night.

As fate would have it, the Toronto Maple Leafs had to go on vacation.

AHL overtime goal specialist Garrett Pilon eliminated the Marlies.

Following the Senators’ victory, the classic final handshake took place, but Toronto’s Kyle Clifford didn’t want to simply pass by and shake his opponents’ tongues.

When it came to shaking hands with fellow tough guy Bokonji Imama, Clifford tried to send a not-so-subtle message.

He went straight for Imama and a melee ensued:

Clearly, it was a gesture of frustration after being eliminated, but it happens to all players. You can’t always win, and you have to control your emotions.

It could have been more disastrous than that. One of the players could easily have fallen and injured himself in that unnecessary melee.

Clifford has always been known as an extremely intense and physical player and he wants to win at all costs.

The man who has played over 750 NHL games also won a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.

He’s the kind of player you want to have in the playoffs for those times when tempers flare, but this gesture was downright unnecessary.

It made absolutely no difference to the outcome of the game, and his team is still eliminated.

He just looked crazy and didn’t help his cause to secure another contract, as he’ll be a free agent this summer.

Although he could still be useful in the AHL at 33, I’m not convinced that management wants a player who has trouble controlling his emotions and can get his team into trouble.

Do you think he’ll find a buyer this summer?

In gusto

– Filip Forsberg getting up once again for the Nashville Predators. Only 12 seconds were enough to score a goal in the third period.

– And without the services of Kawhi Leonard.

– Congratulations to the Magog Cantonniers who are Telus Cup champions in the M18 AAA.

– Read more.

– Tempere’s Tappara have won their third consecutive title in the Finnish First Division (SM-Liiga).

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