Nazem Kadri And Mike Babcock's Future In Doubt?

Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri Facing In-Person Hearing For Cross-Check On Jake DeBrusk

Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri Facing In-Person Hearing For Cross-Check On Jake DeBrusk

This time around, the Leafs have Auston Matthews and John Tavares down the middle ahead of Kadri.

He has emerged as an outstanding shutdown center that also has the 30-goal ability, and is also signed for three more years after this one at a team-friendly rate of just $4.5 million per season.

At some point the Maple Leafs have to ask themselves at what point he is no longer worth the hassle, because if you can't count on him to stay out of trouble at the biggest time of the year, what good is everything else that he offers? "When you see your teammate do something like that you're more likely to do it yourself". Players who are to be disciplined five games or less are given the chance to do a hearing over the phone. We're in a best-of-5 now, we've got to dig in.

Boston kept up the pressure with Rask on the bench for the extra attacker, but Toronto held on despite some tense moments late - including two key blocks from Marner - to take a 2-1 series lead.

DeBrusk, Torey Krug and Connor Clifton all were banged up in Game 2.

"It's disappointing for Naz, it's disappointing for our team", Babcock said.

That cannot happen, not only because it is a disgusting way to play the game, but also because the Maple Leafs need him.

Once the puck was dropped, Boston's forecheck looked as if there was line after line of Gronkowskis bearing down on the puck-carrier.

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"Their intensity was at a different level", said Toronto head coach Mike Babcock, whose team won the opener by the same 4-1 score.

That means he is nearly certainly looking at a hefty suspension that could sideline him for the remainder of Round 1, and perhaps beyond should the Maple Leafs advance. Toronto's frustration finally came to a boil at 14:03 of the third period courtesy of forward Nazem Kadri. As the Leafs trailed 3-1 to the Bruins, Kadri sought out DeBrusk after he delivered a hit on Patrick Marleau, then Kadri delivered a cross-check to the winger's face.

While we understand that Kadri took offence to Debrusk's hit against Marleau, players are simply not permitted to flagrantly violate league playing rules because they feel that retribution is justified.

Kadri was assessed a hooking penalty late in the period, and as he raced to get back in the play, took a knee-on-knee hit from DeBrusk. Kadri and DeBrusk had gone at it numerous times throughout the first two games of the series before the veteran Leaf lost his cool with the cross-check, which also drew a five-minute major and an ejection. "We'll get that figured out and go from there".

Note: Game 5 is set for Friday in Boston. The B's turned that power play into a goal and happily obliged to the Leafs' undisciplined play, tying the series at one with their own 4-1 victory. We've got to be much better, we understand that, we know that. The video embedded below will give you a great idea how this game went.

It marks the second year in a row where Kadri has been dealt a suspension in the playoffs, as he was given a three-game ban for a hit on former Bruins forward Tommy Wingels last season.

If Saturday's incident was a one-time, isolated thing it would be a lot easier to accept it, criticize him for a selfish, dumb play, and deal with whatever consequences that might come from it.

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