Kadri suspended for remainder of 1st round for cross-check on DeBrusk

Silvia Morton
April 16, 2019

Less than an hour before puck drop, the Maple Leafs learned center Nazem Kadri had been suspended for the rest of the series for his vicious cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the third period of Game 2.

Nazem Kadri was actually doing a decent job of keeping his cool.

Kadri travelled to NY for an in-person hearing, meaning the league had the option to suspend the player for more than five games.

In reality, Kadri made it very easy to lower the boom on him. We all knew that.

When news came down quickly after Saturday night's game that Nazem Kadri was offered an in-person hearing with the NHL's department of player safety, it was an ominous sign. We're in a best-of-5 now, we've got to dig in.

"It is important to note that this is not a case in which Kadri's stick rides up DeBrusk's body or stick in some way before making contact with DeBrusk's head", the National Hockey League states in the video.

Kadri broke Rask's shutout bid on a deflection at 10:44, but in a moment of madness cross-checked DeBrusk after the Bruins winger hit Patrick Marleau into the curved glass at the end of the bench.

Emotions were understandably high in Game 2, especially with the way the game was played, and Kadri and DeBrusk were at the center of a lot of it.

"We hit a lot of check lists". DeBrusk did not return to the game, neither did Torey Krug who could also be facing a concussion and Connor Clifton. They jumped on the Leafs early and didn't give their players any time to breathe. Should there have been a penalty?

The Leafs opened the scoring with a five-on-five goal from the fourth line - easily their best one shift-to-shift in the first 40 minutes - and added two power-play goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Here's the reality, a penalty in the regular season isn't always a penalty in the playoffs.

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Tuukka Rask was nearly as sharp for the Bruins down at the other end of the ice. "Sometimes that's the way it goes, and you just got to stay with it and find your game". It was an overreaction by Kadri.

"I think the edge for anybody is a little different".

"I thought it was clean", Cassidy said.

In light of the intense criticism that the Leafs have been receiving in the wake of Saturday's loss, it seems like a good time to look back on the last two times the Leafs met the Bruins.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock switched up his top two lines and mixed his defence pairings looking for a spark.

"Obviously, the league decides on all this kind of stuff", Babcock told the media after the game.

"It was a physical game". Yes, they are in the playoffs, but they have been an inconsistent team for most of the year and they come into this game having lost 11 of their last 16 games. "When you see your teammate do something like that you're more likely to do it yourself".

The Leafs defensive corps has also since been bolstered by acquiring veteran defenseman and Stanley Cup champion Jake Muzzin, and the centre depth is unmatchable thanks to the addition of 47-goal-scorer John Tavares.

And that's really unfortunate, because the Leafs really need what Kadri brings to the lineup. Many judged that the referees let the game spiral out of control with their inconsistency on penalty calls.

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