Monday, 17 June, 2019

Matthews, Johnsson help Leafs take 2-1 series lead over Bruins

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri may face another postseason suspension, this time for cross-check Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri Facing In-Person Hearing For Cross-Check On Jake DeBrusk
Cary Erickson | 16 April, 2019, 12:40

With Game 3 of the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins looming on Monday night, the Maple Leafs coach has no choice. Some will argue that Debrusk made knee-to-knee contact with Kadri earlier in the game. David Krejci and Charlie Coyle scored for Boston. Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots in front of a crowd of 19,611.

Boston tied their series with Toronto 1-1 following their 4-1 win, while the Leafs' Nazem Kadri was ejected late in the 3rd period for an illegal cross check.

Kadri was set to have an in-person hearing with the NHL's department of player safety Monday afternoon in NY to answer for his cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the third period of Boston's 4-1 victory in Game 2 that tied the series 1-1.

Mike Babcock speaks with the media following tonight's game.

The Bruins, probably mindful of a potential crackdown by the referees after the mayhem from Kadri, DeBrusk and many others in Game 2, did not come quite as hard as they did in winning that game 4-1. "It's obviously not ideal at playoff time, but with the intensity of these games anything can happen". Toronto will need their goaltender to stay strong if they want a shot at retaking the series lead and with most of the bounces seemingly going in the favor of the Bruins in Game 2 look for that to even out a bit even though we can also expect a bit of a regression in Andersen's play in this one.

"It's disappointing for Naz, it's disappointing for our team", Babcock said. The Maple Leafs have gone 23-18 here at home and they have averaged 3.56 gpg and have allowed 3.00 gpg in those games.

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Brett Brown is one of the better coaches in the league, and it'll be interesting to see what adjustments he makes between games. Above all of that, he showed confidence in taking the big shots that the Spurs will need him to continue taking this series.

For those who fear the loss of Nazem Kadri puts the series in jeopardy, remember that Kadri was suspended a year ago in Game 1, and a team without John Tavares at centre still managed to keep themselves in the competition without him. Johnsson's heads-up pass helped result in Auston Matthews' first point of the series, coming when Johnsson set up Matthews for a goal a mere 12 seconds after David Backes started serving a high-sticking minor ...

The NHL, if it so decides, could levy a suspension of six games or more considering the hearing is not being done by phone.

Barely a year ago, the centre sat out three games of the Leafs' series against Boston after charging into an already down Tommy Wingels. As the Leafs trailed 3-1 to the Bruins, Kadri sought out DeBrusk after he delivered a hit on Patrick Marleau, then Kadri delivered a cross-check to the winger's face.

National Hockey League first-round playoff action on Monday evening and a pair of teams from the Atlantic Division will square off as the Boston Bruins tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario.

Krug did not return, but the Bruins scored just 11 seconds later when William Nylander inexplicably lost the puck at the side of Toronto's net, leaving an easy tap-in for Heinen at 10:39.

Mar 13, 2015 Missed 3 games (disciplinary). However, things took a dramatic shift for the 2013 Leafs when they went on to lose two at home, allowing 9 goals and being pushed to the brink of elimination. Kadri assumedly went to the defence of his 39-year-old linemate, but instead of dropping the gloves or getting into another shoving match, Kadri saw red and planted his stick into Debrusk's jaw.