Leafs' Nazem Kadri throws another dirty hit, will almost certainly be suspended again

Scott McLaughlin
April 13, 2019 - 10:58 pm

Last year Nazem Kadri got himself suspended for three games in the Maple Leafs' first-round series against the Bruins for a dumb hit from behind on Tommy Wingels.

He almost certainly just got himself suspended again this year. Late in the third period of the Bruins' 4-1 Game 2 win, a game that had gotten quite chippy, Jake DeBrusk threw a big, clean hit on Toronto forward Patrick Marleau.

Kadri, who had been going back and forth with DeBrusk all game, responded by crosschecking DeBrusk in the head. Here's the video:

Total Goon Town. Kadri was rightly ejected from the game, and now the question would seem to be how many games Kadri gets suspended much more than whether he gets suspended at all. Shortly after the game, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Kadri had been offered an in-person hearing, which opens the door for a suspension of more than five games.

"I think that’s up to the league to decide to be honest," said DeBrusk, who underwent some tests after the game, presumbly to check to see if he had a concussion. "Yeah, I’ve got no comment on that."

Kadri was already upset with DeBrusk in particular after a knee-on-knee hit in the second period, along with an earlier scrum in the first period that earned them matching minors. DeBrusk didn't get a penalty for the knee-on-knee hit, and Kadri was very slow to get up, although he was back on the ice for the start of the third period. Here's a look at that play:

Regardless of what Kadri or anyone else thinks of that hit, it obviously doesn't excuse a crosscheck to the head. And because Kadri once again couldn't control his emotions, the Leafs will likely be without their third-line center in critical playoff games for a second straight year.

"I thought second period, I believe it was Jake hit Kadri, but I thought it was clean," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Looking back at it, it was shoulder to shoulder. Obviously, Kadri stayed down and that’s his prerogative when he gets hit. And the last one, I don’t know if it was an altercation. I think he came over and crosschecked him in the face, and I assume that would be dealt with or looked at and go from there."

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Related: Bruins put together much better effort, crush Maple Leafs in Game 2