BOSTON (CBS) — Jake DeBrusk was on the receiving end of Nazem Kadri’s cross-check to the face in Game 2 of the Bruins’ opening-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kadri was suspended for the rest of the series for his actions, but it was DeBrusk who had to deal with the fallout from Leafs fans.
Appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday morning, DeBrusk revealed that he and his family received several death threats from Toronto fans on social media throughout the series.
“Mostly around Game 3. The fact [the Kadri incident] happened in Game 2 and we were going into Toronto for Game 3, I was getting death threats consistently. My family members told me they were getting death threats as well,” DeBrusk told the radio hosts.
DeBrusk said he had to step away from social media for the rest of the series, and added that there were too many threats to report to authorities.
“Whether it was comments of direct messages or different things, there were too many of them,” he said.
DeBrusk, a native of Edmonton, had a goal and an assist in Boston’s seven-game victory over the Leafs, tallying both in front of Toronto fans. His goal in Game 6 was the eventual game-winner for Boston, and he and the Bruins got the last laugh on Tuesday night, eliminating the Leafs in the first round with a Game 7 victory for the second straight postseason.
The 22-year-old expanded on the situation following Boston’s morning skate Thursday.
“Yeah it was something that I didn’t really expect ever, and it was kind of first go-around with that. It’s something that didn’t really get to me, to be honest, but it was just kind of there and it wasn’t really stopping,” he said. “I just tried to defuse it, especially when it gets to the family, it gets a little different.”
DeBrusk said he got a huge assist from his Bruins teamamtes, some of whom have had to deal with similar issues.
“I think the guys in the room here really took me in and helped me kind of get over that,” he said. “You know we have some guys that have had some similar reactions over their times. They really helped me, and I think the best way to go about that is that we won the series and we don’t have to deal with them for at least another year.”
While Leafs fans will have all offseason to think their nasty thoughts about DeBrusk, the Bruins are busy getting ready for their second-round matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets, which gets underway at TD Garden on Thursday night.