The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a terrible night and the selfish play of Nazem Kadri may ensure that the impact of this night will continue to reverberate throughout the next few games of this series.
The Maple Leafs were completely dominated by the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of their first round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the Bruins looking like almost a completely different team than the one that showed up fore Game 1 of this series. It was a brutal, physical and punishing game for both squads with a series of massive hits on both sides of the ice. The battle of the night however was unquestionably the one that played out between Toronto Maple Leafs veteran forward Nazem Kadri and young Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk.
DeBrusk and Kadri went after one another from the opening bell and as a result there were several physical altercations between these two on the night, many of which fans felt should have resulted in some, or more, penalties. The first such incident occurred early in the game when DeBrusk and Kadri got tangled up after DeBrusk delivered a hit to the Leafs forward. The two men would continue the exchange with both of them throwing punches, or a punch in the case of Kadri, before the National Hockey League officials stepped in to split the two men up, sending them both to the penalty box in the process.
That was just the start of the battle between these two though and it would carry through all three periods of this contest. Perhaps the most controversial incident of the night between the two was the knee on knee hit that occurred during the final minute of the game's second period. That hit occurred when Kadri came charging out of the penalty box after a hooking penalty and just seconds later found himself entangled with DeBrusk again. The hit itself did not look to be an intentional knee on knee on the part of DeBrusk but given the bad blood between the two in this game I also am not willing to simply write this one off as merely an accident, you'll have to judge it for yourself.
What was clearly intentional however was the vicious crosscheck that Kadri would deliver to the head of DeBrusk in the third period, following a big hit from DeBrusk on Leafs' veteran forward Patrick Marleau. The crosscheck was blatant, vicious, and delivered to the head of DeBrusk and I would be shocked if, given his history, Kadri was not suspended once again in the first round of the playoffs.