Nazem Kadri suspended remainder of first round for vicious cross-check

Nazem Kadri suspended remainder of first round for vicious cross-check

Having a very good two-way center with a high degree of feistiness to his game at that price point is a very good asset to have.

The Leafs learned less than an hour before puck drop that Nazem Kadri has been suspended for the rest of the series for the centre's vicious cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the third period of Game 2. He's not the first or the last to lose his temper and get his stick into the face of an opponent. "It's real simple. The team that played the hardest won Game 1".

"It's a regroup opportunity for us, that's all there is".

Given his all-around play he is an absolute steal under the salary cap on a team that needs every possible steal it can get given its contract situation at the top of the roster. "(Kadri) is obviously an important player for us, but it's all hands on deck".

But the loss Saturday was about emotion as much as it was about execution. Will he be able to remain with the Maple Leafs beyond this season?

"In the end, Naz has someone else making decisions whether he is playing or not". I think you have to look after yourself but you can't cross the line. The Bruins hit anything and everything, a recipe that resulted in first period goals from Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand. The Leafs used their speed, skill and a surprisingly physical game to frazzle the Bruins.

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With a goal and assist on Andreas Johnsson's victor and another 30-plus saves from Frederik Andersen, the Leafs prevailed 3-2, putting the Nazem Kadri episode in Boston behind them.

DeBrusk had just thrown a questionable hit on Leafs veteran Patrick Marleau, and Kadri chose to retaliate with a cross-check to DeBrusk's head. Boston scored on the ensuing power play, which put the finishing touches on a 4-1 victory to even the series as it shifts back to Toronto. Kadri was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct after the hit.

"Not only is Kadri considered a repeat offender under the [collective agreement], having been suspended for three playoffs games nearly exactly one year ago, but Kadri has also previously been suspended for a similar retaliatory cross-check to a player's head, Detroit's Luke Glendening", the National Hockey League noted. "We'll get that figured out and go from there". The Under is 25-10-1 in Boston's last 36 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 6-1 in Toronto's last seven vs. the Eastern Conference.

Auston Matthews absorbed heavy criticism as he was unable to generate a single point through the first two contests in Boston, but he had a strong Game 3, scoring one goal and an assist. Things won't come easy for the Bruins in this one though as they have struggled to find a way to win in recent trips to Toronto as they are 2-7 in their last 9 trips to the Ontario capital and they are just 1-5 in their last 6 playoff games as an underdog which are two trends favoring the Buds in this one.

The Maple Leafs now hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. He kept his paddle low on a sublime save on David Pastrnak going five-hole, then had a huge diving third period stop on Krejci.

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