2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri may face another postseason suspension, this time for cross-check
It's the second straight year that Kadri may be suspended in a postseason series vs. Boston
Kadri has been offered a hearing from the league's Department of Player Safety following a cross-check he delivered to the face of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the final minutes of Saturday's Game 2 in Boston. 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.
As a result, Kadri was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. After the game, the league's Department of Player Safety was swift to make announcement about the next step:
This means Kadri is eligible to be suspended in excess of five games. It seems additional discipline could be coming down the line as a result of his history and the context surrounding the incident.
Kadri and DeBrusk have developed something of a personal rivalry over the course of this young series, with the two getting tangled up Game 1 and exchanging words from their respective benches. That animosity carried over into Game 2 and they once again got tangled up early in the game.
After that run-in in the first period, which landed both players with matching minor penalties, there was another incident in the middle frame. As Kadri exited the penalty box and attempted to rejoin play, DeBrusk appeared to try to lay a body check on the Leafs' center but instead hit him knee-on-knee. Kadri looked to be injured but no penalty was called on DeBrusk.
Kadri eventually returned to the game on the other side of intermission and even scored the Maple Leafs' lone goal on the night. But as the game carried on and some suspect officiating caused tensions and animosity to continually rise, things eventually boiled over and Kadri went out of his way to deliver the cross-check to DeBrusk's face.
This isn't uncharted territory for Kadri, who was suspended for three games during last year's opening round series between the Bruins and Maple Leafs as a result of a hit he threw on Boston forward Tommy Wingels in . That hit also came in the third period of a frustrating Leafs loss in Boston.
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