BOSTON (CBS) — Nazem Kadri didn’t like a hit that he saw delivered by Tommy Wingels on Thursday night, so he delivered what he believed to be some on-ice justice. But on Friday, it was the NHL distributing the justice on the Maple Leafs winger.
Kadri was suspended 3 playoff games, the NHL announced.
Game 2 of the series will be played Saturday night in Boston, before the series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 (Monday) and Game 4 (Thursday).
The 27-year-old Kadri has been suspended three times prior to this incident in his career. He was issued a three-game suspension for elbowing goaltender Niklas Backstrom in the head in 2013, he was issued a four-game suspension in 2015 for a hit to the head of Matt Fraser, and he was issued a four-game suspension in 2016 for a cross-check to the head of Luke Glendening.
The Department of Player Safety said it was “a forceful and illegal hit delivered on a defenseless opponent for the purpose of retribution and message sending and such plays will not be tolerated.”
After the game — which the Bruins won 5-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the conference quarterfinals — Kadri admitted that he was seeking some retribution on Wingels, after Wingels had hit Mitch Marner up high.
“Well, initially I just thought he made contact with Mitchy’s head to start, and I didn’t see a call there,” Kadri said. “[Wingels] was turning up the wall, so I was coming into the hit, and then he ended up falling. It happened pretty quick, and I think he was reaching for the puck. I haven’t really watched it yet, but I don’t think I stuck my leg out or my arm out, or whatever the case is, but it’s in the hands of the NHL at this point.”
Kadri also placed blame on Wingels for the hit, which forced Wingels to leave the game.
“You know, I certainly wasn’t trying to hit him when he was down like that. I just felt like he was already committed to the hit,” Kadri said. “I knew he was turning up the half wall. Obviously, if he’s still standing up, I think there’s nothing wrong with that, but he ended up falling and reaching for the puck, and I’m not sure what happened after that.”