Why Zdeno Chara showed restraint after Nazem Kadri cross check on Jake DeBrusk

Matt Kalman
April 14, 2019 - 2:18 pm

Nazem Kadri couldn’t keep him self on the right side of the discipline line during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first round, and so the Toronto forward is facing supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Zdeno Chara was able to stay on the right side of the line, so Kadri lived to serve his upcoming suspension and he’ll be in one piece while watching Game 3 of the series Monday in Toronto.

For that Kadri should be thankful.

The Bruins’ 6-foot-9 captain had the best seat in the house for Kadri’s cross check to Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk’s face in the third period of the Bruins’ series-evening 4-1 victory. Chara was the first on the scene and although Kadri turtled, Chara still could’ve exacted some instant retribution if he’d chosen.

Instead Chara chose restraint for the good of the Bruins’ efforts to prevail in this series.

“Well there’s a lot that goes through my head,” Chara said Sunday about the instant he saw his teammate get blasted by Kadri. “But it’s just, you know, again you’ve got to kind of realize that there are consequences. And as much as you want to be there and take care of things, but at the same time you’ve just got to be smart about it. Because if you end up doing something that’s crossing the line, you’re going to be in the same group with the guy who initiated it.

“You’ve got to hold your composure and worry about the results.”

Kadri was offered and accepted an in-person hearing with NHL DOPS, meaning if the league wants it can suspend him for six or more games. His hearing is scheduled for Monday. This will be his fifth NHL suspension.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock was asked Sunday during a conference call if he was disappointed in Kadri’s actions, which come one year after he earned a three-game suspension for his hit on Bruins forward Tommy Wingels in a series the Bruins won in seven games.

“I’m not spending a whole lot of time on that,” Babcock said. “There is nothing I can do about it now. When you prepare your team, you try to prepare them for all situations, so you don’t cross the line. I think you have to play real hard. I think you have to look after yourself but you can’t cross the line.”

Kadri’s going to have to learn to the toe the line. And he should know that if he crosses the line in front of Chara again, he may not get as lucky as to not have to fight the Boston captain next time.

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Related: Sunday Skate: Kadri deserves suspension, DeBrusk not even close