NHL hockey is renowned for its hard-hitting play. That physical intensity escalates during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Emotions and energy run high among the players as they push themselves to the limit in pursuit of hockey's ultimate prize.
Such intensity also comes with an ugly price. As much as the playoffs bring out the best in NHL players, it can sometimes bring out the worst. With the stakes high and each game becoming more meaningful, some players allow their emotions to get the better of them. The result is reckless play and deliberate attempts to injure opponents.
This year's divisional semifinals saw its share of dirty plays. Knee-on-knee hits, boarding and spearing were among the notable cheap shots, some of which resulted in injuries, fines and suspensions.
The following is a ranking of the dirtiest plays thus far in the NHL 2014 divisional semifinals.