Nazem Kadri’s hit on Daniel Sedin set off both teams in Saturday’s meeting between Vancouver and Toronto. The third frame saw several players — including both goaltenders — ejected and more than 130 penalty minutes.
Nazem Kadri has four goals and six points in his past seven games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his ability to keep up his run of good play looks as though it could be halted after he delivered a dangerous hit to Vancouver Canucks star Daniel Sedin.
The hit in question came in the third period of Saturday’s game during a chaotic sequence that saw two massive hits and a goal, and led to the game becoming fight after fight for much of the frame.As the Canucks moved the puck up ice, Morgan Rielly laid an absolutely massive neutral zone hit on Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen — a hit that also could have been called questionable — which resulted in the puck ending up on Sedin’s tape. As he continued up the ice on a 2-on-1 with his brother, Henrik, he pulled the puck back into a shooting position and fired a shot by Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen
However, when Sedin released the puck, he was met with a huge blow, unsuspectingly, from a hard-charging Kadri. Following the hit, Kadri was jumped by Hansen. Take a look:
Sedin stayed down on the ice for a short while and was able to return to the game, but the entire contest devolved into nothing short of an all out brawl from that point on. The penalty breakdown for the remainder of the contest is a mess, but here’s what went down:
- Nazem Kadri was handed a major for charging on Sedin and a major for fighting Hansen, while Hansen was given an instigator penalty, fighting major and game misconduct.
- Less than four minutes later, Derek Dorsett and Leo Komarov dropped the gloves and were both earned fighting majors. Dorsett got the extra two minutes for instigating.
- Seven seconds of game time following Dorsett and Komarov’s scrap, Alexandre Burrows and Rielly dropped the gloves, with Burrows getting tagged with an instigator and game misconduct.
Even after all that, the chaos wasn’t over. At the 14:52 mark of the third frame, the Canucks’ Brendan Gaunce and Maple Leafs’ Matt Martin earned majors for fighting, with Martin also given an instigator and game misconduct. What led to the fight between Gaunce and Martin was a skirmish between Martin and rookie Troy Stecher, though, which saw Vancouver goaltender Ryan Miller jump in to protect the freshman blueliner.
For that, Miller was tagged with a fighting major and game misconduct, while Andersen — who left the Toronto zone and came down into the pile — was ejected for leaving the crease.
Things settled considerably after that point, and the Maple Leafs skated to a 6-3 victory in a game that saw 132 minutes of penalties in the final frame. However, that’s likely not the last that will come of the mess between Toronto and Vancouver as the league will no doubt be taking a look at the hit by Kadri.
The optics of the hit weren’t good at all, with it looking like a pretty clear blindside blow and a hit the league could come down on Kadri hard for, especially as he’s a repeat offender who has been suspended three times in his career. The Maple Leafs don’t play again until Tuesday, so there’s no rush on a decision, though one could come in short order if the decision is made to suspend Kadri.
This won’t be the last time the two teams meet this season, either. Both Canucks and Maple Leafs fans will almost certainly have Dec. 3 circled on their calendars, which is when Toronto travels to Vancouver for the rematch between the two clubs.
And, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, a Canucks player was heard yelling that Martin’s “dead,” so there’s also that.
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