Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Bruins react to Nazem Kadri's dirty hit on Tommy Wingels

Ty Anderson
April 13, 2018 - 12:07 am

Sometimes you’re able to find yourself in a position to legitimately defend your actions. But the replay of Maple Leaf center Nazem Kadri’s third-period boarding -- the second one, mind you -- on Bruins forward Tommy Wingels says it all. The reaction from Boston captain Zdeno Chara and netminder Tuukka Rask told you how the Bruins felt about it.

The Bruins made Kadri and the Leafs pay for the offense, too, with a David Krejci power-play goal that made it a 5-1 game and officially closed the door on any potential Toronto comeback. But after the victory, it was clear that those that saw the incident took exception to what Kadri did.

“I thought it was the appropriate call,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who did not have an update on the 30-year-old Wingels after the Game 1 victory, said. “I thought it was a five-minute major. Where it goes from there, out of my hands.”

“That’s a tough question,” Bruins forward Sean Kuraly said when asked if he thinks Kadri is an honest player. “You don’t like to see anyone hit anyone from behind, that’s just not something that you like to see and it shouldn’t be a part of the game.”

Kadri, meanwhile, took his postgame scrum as an opportunity to plead his case.

“Well, initially I just thought he made contact with [Mitchell Marner]’s head to start, and I didn’t see a call there. He was turning up the wall, so I was coming into the hit, and then he ended up falling,” Kadri, assessed a five-minute major and tossed from the game on the infraction, offered. “It happened pretty quick, and I think he was reaching for the puck. I haven't really watched it yet, but I don't think I stuck my leg out or my arm out, or whatever the case is, but it’s in the hands of the NHL at this point.”

The 27-year-old Kadri has been suspended three times in his NHL career, with his last ban coming by way of a four-game suspension for cross-checking in Apr. 2016. Before that, Kadri was hit with a four-game ban for an illegal hit to the head, and for three games in 2013 because of a hit to Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom's head. 

Confirmed to have a hearing tomorrow, the likelihood of Kadri facing supplemental discipline certainly seems greater after the NHL Department of Player Safety sent a clear message and suspended Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty one game for this hit to the head of the Golden Knights’ William Carrier on Thursday.

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