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TAMPA, FL - JUNE 28: A bloody Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens skates off the ice after a post whistle scrum against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on June 25, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was a quality game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, full of offensive flair and invention. Unfortunately, it also had some elements of the game that you don’t want to see, and Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher got the worst of it Monday night. 

Gallagher lost his helmet while being involved in a routine, after the whistle standoff, but his situation quickly turned dangerous. It was in the heat of the moment, but with Gallagher already without his helmet, Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev slammed his opponent to the ice, with his head connecting directly with the ice surface. 

This could’ve been a lot worse, and luckily Gallagher escaped without serious injury. 

If you’re uncomfortable with blood and gore, we’d advise you to stop reading this post. Gallagher definitely looked worse for wear afterwards. 

The game went on without further serious incident, but if the NHL is pretending to care about player safety, this is an incident that should directly fall under their umbrella for closer review. Gallagher may not have been injured — the gash from his face notwithstanding — but it shouldn’t have to take a serious injury for the department of player safety to wake up. 

Game 2 resumes Wednesday, where it’s almost certain that Sergachev will be in Tampa Bay’s lineup without facing supplementary discipline.

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