BOSTON (CBS) — The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Nazem Kadri for the remainder of the first round of the playoffs.
The Toronto centerman was suspended by the NHL’s department of player safety on Monday, for his dangerous cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in Saturday night’s Game 2 in Boston.
For Kadri, it’s his second straight postseason suspension, after he was suspended for three games last year in the first round of the playoffs against the Bruins for a check delivered to a vulnerable Tommy Wingels in Game 1. This year, Kadri’s hit came 14:03 into the third period. He was issued a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
The illegal cross-check came at the end of what was a highly physical affair between the Bruins and Maple Leafs, and the duo of DeBrusk and Kadri was at the center of it. DeBrusk took Kadri down for a first-period tussle early in the game, presumably as a response to Kadri’s late hit from Game 1. DeBrusk and Kadri also had a knee-on-knee collision after Kadri escaped the penalty box late in the second period. Kadri also delivered a hit to the head of an unsuspecting David Krejci early in Game 2, a hit that went unnoticed by the officials on the ice.
Shortly after Game 2 ended, the department of player safety announced that Kadri had been offered an in-person hearing. The department tweeted on Sunday that Kadri’s hearing would take place on Monday. The in-person hearing, as opposed to a hearing over the phone, gives the NHL the leeway to suspend the player for six games or more, if such a decision is reached.
Kadri’s been suspended four times before for illegal hits.
Kadri, 28, scored Toronto’s lone goal in Saturday night’s loss, and he had an assist in Game 1. During the regular season, he scored 16 goals with 28 assists in 73 games.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs will resume their series, tied at one game apiece, on Monday night in Toronto.