By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
It’s possible we’ve seen the last of Nazem Kadri in this series.
The Bruins dominated Game 2 against the Maple Leafs on Saturday at TD Garden, earning a 4-1 win to tie the series at 1-1 as they head to Toronto for Game 3. But unfortunately, much of the discussion around the game will focus on Kadri’s latest cheap shot, which wasn’t even his only questionable play of the game. But you know which one I’m referring to.
In the third period with the Bruins up 3-1, Jake DeBrusk delivered a hard hit to the Leafs’ Patrick Marleau. Immediately after, Kadri sought DeBrusk out, glided up to him, and cross-checked him in the face. There’s really no other way to describe it. Watch for yourself:
Make that a 90 game suspension for Kadri pic.twitter.com/y7gR1L6ho0— Bruins Stats (@bruins_stats) April 14, 2019
Kadri made a high hit on David Krejci in the first period, and also had a knee-on-knee collision with DeBrusk that had him shaken up. Some may point to that as a “We’re even” for DeBrusk in his growing feud with Kadri. But when you look at that play again, Kadri sort of causes the knee contact himself as he clearly tries to move out of the way of DeBrusk’s shoulder. DeBrusk was going for a shoulder hit and never stuck his knee out.
There’s no reason Kadri should get any benefit of the doubt at this point. He received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the cross-check, but that won’t be the end of his discipline. NHL Player Safety has already tweeted that Kadri has been offered an in-person hearing.
A suspension should be in order, and I’m going to predict five games. He got three for boarding Tommy Wingels in the head a year ago. Kadri shouldn’t be allowed to see the ice again vs. the Bruins.
That really should be the end of the story, but DeBrusk’s own rough style of play may lead to some insufferable debates. Save your breath. Kadri has long earned a reputation as arguably the NHL’s dirtiest player, and the cross-check to DeBrusk was as dirty as it gets.
DeBrusk declined to comment on the cross-check when he spoke to reporters after the game. He did say that the Bruins ran a series of tests. DeBrusk seems like he’ll be good to go for Game 3 on Monday. Kadri, on the other hand, should almost certainly sit due to a suspension. The swiftness of Player Safety taking action indicates that will be the case.
In a career peppered with dirty plays, this one ranks among his dirtiest.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.