Stop me if you've heard this before.
A player from Toronto Maple Leafs has the game of his NHL career in the playoffs. He watches all night like a demon and plays a key role in smothering the crime of a team that had beaten off the Leafs last season. Late in the game, however, it turns out that he enjoyed a grudge all night after hitting an enemy opponent. Well behind the game, and everyone in the building looks at the other end of the ice. The leaf player is alone with his opponent. He hits him unconscious with a vicious elbow on his head.
Pandemonium follows, though the Leafs have won the game. However, there is an NHL hearing, and the Leaf player is suspended for the remaining playoffs and the first eight games of the following season. While the Leafs also managed to win the next game and achieve a 3-2 lead in their Best of 7 series, the opponent dropped off the mat and won the next two games to finish in the second year Episode to Remove from the Playoffs
No, we're not talking about Nazem Kadri, whose cross checking against the head of Boston Bruins striker Jake DeBrusk end of the 4-1 loss on Saturday probably 1: 1 is the second year in a row in a playoff series against the Bruins. The NHL Players' Security Division requested a personal hearing of the hit, which will take place on Monday before the Leafs and Bruins meet in Game 3 of their series in Toronto.
This other malicious hit was delivered by Tie Domi. On May 3, 2001, Niedermayer defender Scott Niedermayer headed the New Jersey Devils superstar. Niedermayer was no longer in the series, but Domis' goal was seen by his teammates as a watershed for the defeat against the Devils.
"There is no doubt this tie brings an element to our team," said then-Gary Roberts. "He is effective. He can ice skate. He likes to beat it. He made an aggressive contribution to us this year. Yes, even though they did not have Niedermayer in the lineup … it probably made them a little reassuring to know that Tie Domi was not looking for them in the hunt for them. We missed the tie on the ice. "
And that's probably going to happen to today's Leafs, thanks to Kadri's equally selfish decision. While he allegedly went to DeBrusk for driving his team-mate Patrick Marleau into a pole on the players' bench, which was a direct hit by the way, it's easy to understand that Kadri was still cooking over a knee-to-knee strike DeBrusk, who had previously been hit in it was the game.
DeBrusk was not penalized for this goal, and referees Trevor Hanson and Brad Meier could not name many other things. The performance of the officers was as bad as in the NHL, but that's still no excuse for Kadri losing his cool.
There is almost no chance that Kadri will play again in this series, which is just as damaging to the Leafs. Chances like a year ago when he was suspended for three games because he brought Bruin's forward shot Tommy Wingels head first into the boards.
Kadri is your classic repeat offender. In the past six years he has been banned four times for a total of 14 games. Add his three fines on other occasions, and this will be Kadri & # 39; s eighth visit to the disciplinary council of the NHL.
Since the Kadri Player Safety Division offered a personal hearing, this means that the League now has the option to suspend him for at least five games. He will be happy if that's all he gets.
As with the Domi situation, this came during a game in which Kadri was playing enormously. While his teammates withered under the Bruins Advance Test, Kadri showed his courage and struck back. He also scored the only goal of the Leafs, and in the first game of the series, a 4-1 victory, Kadri's perfect pass to William Nylander led to a decisive goal.
This combination of physical play and skill makes it possible Kadri is such an important player for the Leafs when under control. As the third center of the Leafs behind John Tavares and Auston Matthews, he also creates matchup problems for opposing teams. The problem is that he lacks the judgment and obviously he will not learn from history, neither from his team nor from his own.
Kadri could have played his last game as a Maple Leaf. While the leaves urgently need the sand and the abilities Kadri has, it must come with self-control. Given the salary problems facing Leaf's General Manager Kyle Dubas this summer and the fact that Kadri has reached a cap of $ 4.5 million over the next three years, he makes it an attractive asset for other teams who are ready to have a chance Be a surprise when traded.
"Of course it's disappointing for Naz, disappointing for our team," said Leafs head coach Mike Babcock on Sunday. "One of our key areas is the depth in the middle, and obviously Naz is a good player, he has done good."
"Every time you cross the finish line, you have a chance for someone else to decide you play or not. The way I see it, we can not worry now. We just have to go on.
At this point, the Bruins seem to be moving, not to mention Kadri.