Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri has been for suspended three games for his hit on Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels.
Kadri was assessed a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct in the Maple Leafs’ first playoff game Thursday night against the Bruins. The incident occurred at 8:14 of the third period, while the Bruins were leading 4-1. Boston went on to win the game 5-1.
“Kadri sees Wingels has fallen, and, with sufficient time to adjust his course or minimize the force, instead drives recklessly into the defenseless Wingles, causing his head to dangerously impact the boards,” a narrator explains in a Department of Player Safety-produced video posted to the NHL’s website. “It is important to note that Kadri is in control of this hit at all times.”
The suspension is the fourth of Kadri’s career. Most recently, he was suspended four games in April 2016 for cross-checking. His other suspensions have included four games for an illegal hit in 2015 and three games for goalie interference in 2013.
“I certainly wasn’t trying to hit him while he was down like that,” Kadri told reporters after the game. “I was already committed to the hit. If he’s still standing up, there isn’t anything wrong on that, but he fell.”
Kadri tied his career-high with 32 goals this season. His 32 goals were also third most on the team during the regular season, behind James van Riemsdyk (36) and Auston Matthews (34).
This is the second suspension in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was suspended for one game for a hit to the head of Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier. Doughty had never previously been suspended.
Game 2 of the Maple Leafs-Bruins series is Saturday night in Boston.