Lightning clap back at booing Maple Leafs fans

The rivalry is renewed tonight!



The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs have developed a notable rivalry in recent years, particularly highlighted by their consecutive playoff matchups in 2022 and 2023. In 2022, the Lightning mounted a comeback series win that shattered the Maple Leafs' hopes, while in the following year, the Leafs managed to overcome their Round 1 playoff curse by defeating the Lightning, marking their first advancement since 2004.

The rivalry gets renewed tonight, as the two teams will battle one another at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto. It will also feature a facing off of two of the League's top players in Leafs forward Auston Matthews (62 goals) and Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (127 points). 

Of course, Kucherov was the representative for the Lightning during the NHL All-STar game that took place earlier this year in Toronto, and he was often greeted with a chorus of boos from the mostly pro-Leafs crowd. And that wasn't lost on Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.

 "I thought they were saying, 'Kuuuuch.' That's how we are used to hearing it," Hedman joked. "I don't know how it's going to be today ... I don't think he cares too much, to be honest."

Hedman also touched on the Mattews-Kucherov matchup, stating the obvious that they are both majorly important to their respective clubs, but who he believes will have the edge by the time tonight's game is all said and done. 

Different players, but probably the same importance to their respective teams," Hedman said. "World-class players going at it so it will be a good match-up tonight, and I’m confident Kuch will prevail."

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Source: Twitter