Should Kadri have been suspended?

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Photo: Getty Images via NHL.com

Nazem Kadri will attend a hearing with league discipline czar Brendan Shanahan this afternoon. The hearing is reportedly about the collision with goaltender Niklas Backstrom. It’s not clear as of yet if this indicates the League has reviewed Kadri’s hit on Mikael Granlund and found no supplemental discipline is needed.

When the League looks back at the tape, I think, or hope, they will find that the Granlund hit looked and sounded worse in real time than it was when scrutinizing the slow motion replay. The match penalty that saw the Leafs serve a five-minute penalty, and Kadri being ejected for the remainder of the game, seemed like overkill on its own. It was a reputation call, and it certainly did look bad; the refs had already been onto Kadri from the Backstrom incident, Kadri exploded upward into his hit, his stick smacked the glass and created a loud noise, Granlund’s head jerked back, and the crowd reacted loudly. A closer inspection suggests to me he kept his elbow down, his feet on the ice, and contacted, with his shoulder, the high chest area on Granlund. It seems the refs got sucked into a match penalty call that probably should have been a two-minute boarding call if anything.

Update:

Back to the Backstrom collision.

The title of this piece about the collision over at NBC Sports was, “is the Kadri hit similar to the Tootoo hit on Miller,” and it is. But it is also similar to Gionta’s elbow to Reimer’s head, and to countless other player-goalie collisions that were seemingly dismissed as unfortunate hockey plays. What’s the difference in Tootoo’s case that earned him the two-game suspension? It was a high profile incident after Miller had been ran by Lucic coming out of his crease a month earlier, no suspension was handed down, and the Sabres organization was irate. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons John Scott now exists in the league. So, we’re already seeing how inconsistent discipline decisions can snowball into more problems.

In this case, it’s a high-profile matter because Kadri is a Leaf; I’ll never be convinced otherwise. He’s in the Toronto spotlight. Twitter lit up, and reporters and the TSN panel were talking suspension within moments of it happening with little time to reflect on league discipline precedents or where it might actually fit in the big picture when it comes to these types of incidents. It’s not that I’m calling this an anti-Leaf conspiracy agenda on the part of the League, it’s the simple point that the actions of Leaf players receive more attention. The League’s job is to review everything, but to pretend like outside pressures and public perception don’t influence their decision making is completely naive.

Tootoo was ruled to have had minimal assistance from a defender in crashing into Miller, and got two games for the play. Kadri did not receive any assistance, either, and in relative terms there wasn’t even a defender nearby (as far as goalmouth plays go). One difference between the two is that Tootoo is driving the net with the puck while Kadri was wandering through the crease area looking to find a rebound or tip Lupul’s shot.

Kadri is playing recklessly here; he’s going to the net, which is what he’s always been told to do, but he’s just lost his place relative to the goaltender. He needs to be more aware of his surroundings, without a doubt. From there, he begins contact Backstrom, who was down on his knees and sliding out to the right of his goal crease to make the save on Lupul’s shot. Kadri’s arm makes contact with Backstrom’s head, and Kadri’s reaction is to raise his arms up to try to avoid what contact he can even though it’s too late; this kind of creates the optics of him extending his forearm through Backstrom’s head.

In principle, I’m fine if the League wants to start handing down a game or two for these type of reckless collisions in order to protect its goaltenders. It’s the inconsistency of the discipline that would upset me. I hated losing James Remier for months thanks to one of these collisions, and I would understand if the League wanted to send a message about playing recklessly around the net. But Reimer’s October, 2011 collision with Brian Gionta yielded no supplemental disciplinary action from the league. While it was different circumstances with Miller well out of his crease, neither did Lucic’s original collision with Miller. Why is it when Kadri does it is the hockey world acting like a suspension is automatically in store? If the League is going to make an example out of Kadri, I hope it means we’ll see consistency when it comes to this type of hit going forward, but what are the chances of that?

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Biltmore

    Watching the video, Kadri comes out of the corner skating backwards to the net and following the puck. He turns to bat the puck midair and runs into the keeper. Didn’t look intentional, and he certainly wasn’t going full steam.

  • ConnorCrisp

    What bothers me mostly is the inconsistency of the officiating in general. The penalties seem so arbitrary at times and that is the root from which grows all of the above imo

  • PEIleafnation

    stupid he might get suspended for a hit that got him 2 mins and not the 5 min match one..but hey have at it NHL

  • ConnorCrisp

    PEIleafnation I noticed that it was the ref’s first game — so perhaps there was gonna be some EXTRA inconsistency than normal but yeah ugh. When Phaneuf was DOUBLE BOARDED in the third I thought I was gonna puke

  • PEIleafnation

    ConnorCrisp PEIleafnation I was saying that to the guys at work here…dion got hammered from behind and came out wozzy…im not against protecting goalies…guess the long lived effin gionta hit on Reimer creeps up…

  • lieffan

    I don’t get all that emotional about these things, but just rationally I think you’re bang on, Alec. 
    Kadri is going to get one or two games and our best natural centre will be Jay McClement.

  • ConnorCrisp

    @lieffan At least McC is playing like an abosolute BEAST right now

  • lieffan

    ConnorCrisp There’s a real connection to us having scored three goals and four games and him playing so much though. He’s a great bottom six centre but man, this sucks

  • ConnorCrisp

    @lieffan ConnorCrisp 100% truth. Its so frustrating to me that we are 1/4 through the season and havent iced our full lineup ONCE

  • GeorgeCastanza

    If I remember correctly Glen fucking Healy even accused Riemer for selling the hit by Gionta moments after it happened. Fucking atrocious double standard when it’s the maple Leafs.  I’m getting right sick of the NHL. I’m already fed up with the MSM  and I refuse to pay them any attention anymore whether they have anything negative or positive to say.

  • ConnorCrisp

    GeorgeCastanza Right? I conciously try to be objective when Im absorbing this stuff, but then I see chara cross-check someone in the face, and Dion get boarded by two players at once and not only is there no call, but the MSM dont even MENTION it. You gotta shake your head.
    Meanwhile, Blair is on 590 the fan right now, saying how Chara is really aware of his surroundings.

  • PEIleafnation

    GeorgeCastanza healy…enough said

  • mcloki

    BHUllshit.
    When do the FREE KADRI T-shirts go on sale.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    PEIleafnation GeorgeCastanza 

    well, exactly. healy’s is part of that left-wing  propaganda machine known as the cbc and my fucking tax dollars pay for that shit-show of a government program.  Fuck them. Mayor Ford rules!!!!!!!

  • ConnorCrisp

    GeorgeCastanza PEIleafnation Crack cocaine for everyone, but only if you are too drunk to remember anything!!!!

  • GeorgeCastanza

    ConnorCrisp GeorgeCastanza PEIleafnation   Siding with the MSM regarding mayor Ford is like siding with the fucking Spanish inquisition – the worst , most corrupt organization in the history of the world

  • oldrugbyguy

    One game maybe two. May or may not be worth the time but league will hand it out to show on top of it.

  • toleafs

    my worry is that Kadri will stop playing the physical game(which he NEEDS to do) bec ause of this!!

  • Beleafer29

    I was at the game last night, Kadri hit on Granlund was legit. Granlund is 5’8″ standing along boards with his down looking at the puck (big mistake). Kadri simply introduced a rookie European to Canadian hockey. Which is never have your head down in open ice or along the boards.
    Granlund’s stupidity should not equal a penalty on Kadri. Kadri, Ranger, Phaneuf and Fraser were beasts last night! Go Leafs Go was chanted throughout the game…good Fan showing.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Maple Leafs are getting it from both ends.  One end is the fucking Pro-American blood-sucking NHL and the other end is the fucking Left-wing  fucking Main-stream media.  What a fucking joke !!!!!!!!!!!

  • ConnorCrisp

    GeorgeCastanza ConnorCrisp PEIleafnation Im pretty sure the Spanish Inquisition could do things like burn you at the stake though if you were perceived to be lying, or had a bad haircut.:P

  • Greg Fenton

    What Kadri’s intention was shouldn’t come in play for either side because ultimately no one but Kadri really knows what his intention was. 
    The rule reads that hits that target the head or were the head is the principal point of contact are not allowed. I don’t think Kadri targeted the head, but it was the principal point of contact. 
    As I said in regards the Ashton thing a couple weeks ago, if someone did that to a Leaf player I’d want that player suspended, so I can’t really say Kadri shouldn’t be suspended just because he is a Leaf.

  • phaneufoundlander

    He’s gone for 2, book it….now we have our 3 top centers out for Buffalo.

  • oldrugbyguy

    I just want to know what brought that style on last night. Either he was told to step it up by coach or he got the idea to be more physical. He has not played like that consistently all year.
    Minny not touching him either means our tough guys are enough to stop retaliation or Minny is a very timid team.

  • phaneufoundlander

    GeorgeCastanza here here my man….I’m ready to explode

  • Airfreshener

    Greg Fenton Which hit are you talking about?

  • Greg Fenton

    Airfreshener Greg Fenton the on Backstrom.

  • Uncle Otis

    Way to speak up Alec…not looney or homer at all.
    Maybe others will follow your lead
    Congrats on having the balls to stand different from the shills

  • phaneufoundlander

    GeorgeCastanza man, you nailed it, somebody should take Glen Healy and ram his fucking fat head down a dirty toilet. That anti-leaf fucking prick needs a smack in the mouth.

  • peterbleafs

    I am more pissed we lost the game than the Kadri hit.  It was an aggressive hit and we sure do not want aggressive play in hockey do we.  He will get a game, so who cares really.  but that just means next time the suspension gets worse.  Kadri is a mean and hard hitter when he sees an opportunity, this was no different.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/APetriellihttps://twitter.com/APetrielli/status/401003830512349184
    https://twitter.com/MapleLeafsHS https://twitter.com/shanessm That’s my point. I honestly don’t think Tootoo-Kadri were similar though. Kadri’s was careless; Tootoo’s was dumb.

  • lieffan

    peterbleafs With Bolland and Bozak out, I certainly care about him getting a game or two.

  • Jay_Berg

    What am I missing here? If someone ran over Bernier in similar fashion last night we would be crying for the league to throw the book at him. Kadri was reckless, deserves to be suspended. It’s not “bullshit” I don’t know how he didn’t get 5 mins for that in the first place so for people to blame the refs for last night just adds to the stupidity.

  • Airfreshener

    Greg Fenton Airfreshener Ok, I didnt’ see it and don’t have time to comment on that, just curious.

  • Uncle Otis

    Jay_Berg 
    You are missing the fact that the league has turned a blind eye to this type,and more obvious violations in the past.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Jay_Berg We did have someone run over our goalie – Gionta. He received no suspension. Yes, we were up in arms then, as we would be now. Doesn’t change that there has been a problem with consistency and Leafs fans are right to point it out.

  • Jay_Berg

    While that’s true it was 2 years ago. It’s clear the league has tightened up since then.

  • peterbleafs

    Uncle Otis Im a homer and definitely have a skewed opinion of everything hockey.  I know the players well on my time and do not care much about players on any other team.   On reffing, I never have thought refs are unfair towards the Leafs.  Most games we lose, we deserve to lose, and some games we win we deserve to lose.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Jay_Berg It’s the fucking inconsistency!  and the fucking accumulative stinking biased calls by the nhl officials is wearing Leaf’s fans down.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Jay_Berg I don’t know if that’s true across the board.

  • ConnorCrisp

    GeorgeCastanza Jay_Berg yep pretty much this. Consistency would help.

  • Jay_Berg

    What are other recent examples? I don’t consider miller in this. To me that’s a different scenario all together

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Hate to sound like a full blown whiner today, but…
    League gets the no supplemental discipline thing right on the Granlund hit. Called it a body hit – basically that it was clean. Then they say in the next breath that the punishment on the ice matches the crime. Umm….

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Jay_Berg It would take a lot of digging. I’ve seen some pretty bad goalie collisions looked at as unfortunate hockey plays.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Alec Brownscombe meanwhile dion gets boarded by two people and gets up limping and there is no call.

  • wendelsway1

    GeorgeCastanza My sentiments exactly…….my feelings for refs and MSM is summed up nicely in this video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sY9X7IcZl8

  • rustynail

    Jay_Berg is it?

  • Uncle Otis

    ConnorCrisp 
    from behind..no late turn either

  • Uncle Otis

    Alec Brownscombe 
    Not whining at all…this is just the straw and the camel.

  • Jay_Berg

    I donno man. Kadri was pretty blatant. He didn’t get touched and he followed through while the goalie was well in his crease. That would have ended reimers season and possibly career if he got concussed again like that. It sucks losing Kadri and i know league discipline is frustrating but that’s about as obvious as it gets. It’s the shitty truth.