Unsurprisingly, Game 1 of the Bruins/Leafs playoff series ranked pretty high on the nasty scale with a chance for things to get much gnarlier as things proceed.

All it took was one game for Brad Marchand to accuse James van Riemsdyk of attempting to spear him “in the privates”, an accusation backed up by video, and then respond to that action in kind by swinging his hockey stick at JVR like an ancient samurai warrior.

“He speared me in the privates, so I kinda reacted,” admitted Marchand. “It’s pretty simple.

“It was the end of the game and we were up by a couple of goals, so it seemed like they were trying to send a message. But stuff happens in hockey. It’s a different game in the playoffs. It’s a completely different atmosphere where the game amps up a little bit, and it gets a lot more physical.”

The two hockey clubs combined for 67 registered hits in Boston’s 4-1 victory at TD Garden, and already escalated to a hearing with the Department of Player Safety for Andrew Ference after he caught Mikhail Grabovski in the head. It probably wasn’t all that different from the level of physical intimidation and merciless nastiness that both organizations showed the last time they met in the playoffs during an Old Time Hockey series back in 1974.

For whatever reason it appeared that Grabovski was a big target of the Bruins as Ference, Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg all took turns plastering him into the boards with glass-rattling big hits.

That doesn’t even count the cross-checks, slashes, face washes throughout the game, and the repeated punches to the side of the head that Chris Kelly absorbed at the end of the third period.