Nazem Kadri steamrolls Niklas Backstrom in Wild crease; suspension coming? (Video)
Wondering what a typical day at the Department of Player Safety is like? Me too. I don't work there and I've never been invited to visit.
But I can tell you with some measure of confidence what tomorrow is going to look like: it will likely involve the DOPS staff debating just how many games they're planning to give Nazem Kadri for this collision with Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom:
In an alternate universe where Kadri doesn't briefly lose his mind, this is just a video of a really nice move by Joffrey Lupul. But alas.
(UPDATE: Kadri will have a phone hearing for this hit on Thursday.)
Now, last I checked, you weren't allowed to hit anybody in the head like that, and you definitely weren't allowed to hit goalies. Is it crazy to suggest that the Leafs are going to be without Kadri for awhile? Because I'm not sure how you can let that go.
That's one thing I'm not sure of. Another: what in the world Kadri was trying to do there if he wasn't out to do, you know, exactly what he did? There was no one pushing him into Backstrom. He wasn't trying to get to a loose puck in the crease. And, most damning of all, he follows through pretty severely with his forearm and elbow. I know I called it a collision earlier -- this looks a lot more like a hit.
It reminds me somewhat of Jordin Tootoo's suspension a couple years back for running over Ryan Miller. Sure, that suspension probably had something to do with the Lucic incident and the subsequent comment that it was open season on goalies, but if you'll recall, one of the factors Shanahan cited in giving Tootoo two games was "the lack of any significant interference steering Tootoo into the goaltender."
Shanahan said this over footage of Tootoo being pushed by Christian Ehrhoff.
In Kadri's case, not only is there no significant interference, there's literally no interference at all. One assumes we'll hear something like the onus is on Kadri to avoid this hit because there's sure as heck no one else around on which to put the onus.
Backstrom left the game and did not return.