Boston Bruins Even Series With Leafs, Lose Jake DeBrusk to Dirty Hit

Ruben Hill
April 16, 2019

William Nylander will take Nazem Kadri's place at centre on Toronto's third line behind John Tavares and Auston Matthews when the Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their first-round series Monday.

Nylander, who had just seven goals in 54 games following a contract dispute that stretched into December, scored in Toronto's 4-1 victory in Boston in Game 1. Boston has scored just five goals in their first two games of this series, but they have still averaged a solid 3.80 gpg over their last 10 games. The hit knocked DeBrusk to the ice and the Bruins forward did not return to the game.

It was clear the Bruins were going to try and dominate right off the start and you say them crashing and banging any player in a white jersey. "I'm sure he wishes he'd held back a bit, but we'll see where it goes".

The Leafs now have to regroup for Monday's Game 3 at Scotiabank Arena, likely minus one of their most influential players, especially at this time of year. He declined to speak about the Kadri cross-check.

What might have kept Babcock awake after the Leafs returned home from Boston is the fact that Kadri hasn't learned from past transgressions. Kadri is a repeat offender; he was suspended three games from last year's playoffs for a headshot on Boston's Tomy Wingels.

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. The B's turned that power play into a goal and happily obliged to the Leafs' undisciplined play, tying the series at one with their own 4-1 victory.

But the most controversial moments of violence revolved around Nazem Kadri, and his actions might force him to miss some time, too. In the end, Kadri lost his cool and will likely be suspended for multiple games for cross-checking DeBrusk in the face. What concerns you the most and can the Leafs overcome it with the next two games at home.

"I don't think he tried to hit him in the head or anything", the defenceman said.

"I'm not spending a whole lot of time on that", Babcock said. "If he's still standing up, there isn't anything wrong on that, but he fell".

When Jake DeBrusk stopped Patrick Marleau's rush attack with a strong shoulder hit into the boards, Kadri retaliated with a cross-check to DeBrusk's face.

"You just adjust", said left winger Zach Hyman.

"The only problem with Kadri's hit [on DeBrusk] is he didn't take the top f-ing row of DeBrusk's teeth out", Avery said. Kadri was down on the ice for several minutes, and had to exit the game. During the regular season, Boston ranked 3rd in the league in power play conversions at 25.9% and 16th in penalty kill at 79.9%.

"Judging by the way Naz went down, it didn't seem great", Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly said".

Said Cassidy: "I thought it was clean". Pastrnak promptly fed a no-look-behind-the-back pass on a 2-on-1 to Marchand, who delayed before sliding a shot through Andersen's pads as Boston led 24-12 in shot attempts after one. "The initial reaction - never had something like that happen before so obviously you're always anxious, but, lucky enough, when I got back to the room I checked all the points on the checklist and felt good enough".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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