BOSTON -- The Maple Leafs are down 1-0 in their best-of-seven series with the Bruins after Thursday night’s 5-1 loss at TD Garden . . . and things might have just gotten worse for them.
Nazem Kadri is facing supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety after a dirty, predatory hit on Tommy Wingels that knocked the Bruins forward out of the game in the third period:
The Toronto winger will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Friday, and that usually means a suspension of five games or less in most situations.
Kadri was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a 10-minute misconduct. The Leafs agitator launched off his skates while Wingels was in a vulnerable position on his knees against the boards. Wingels' head smashed against the dasher and the fourth-line winger was done for the night after the hit. Coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game the team had no medical update.
The Bruins players clearly didn’t like the hit from Kadri, who's always played right on that edge.
“That was a pretty tough hit,” said Brad Marchand. “I don’t know what’s going to happen there. I’m sure [the NHL is] going to look at it and we’ll go from there. [Kadri] is obviously a big player for their team, he plays hard and is tough to play against.”
Kadri, 27, had 32 goals and 55 points this season as a top power-play performer, so a two- or three-game suspension would be a major blow to a Maple Leafs group that got dominated for long stretches of the first game in the series. They certainly still have more than enough talent up front to create offense against the Bruins, but a subtraction of Kadri obviously lowers Toronto’s depth up front while making Toronto a little bit easier to play against.