It must be the post-season, because Kadri got kicked out of a game.
Some players play with an edge; which side of that edge they fall on is up to them. There’s nothing wrong with setting the tempo with a big hit or aggressive pressure. In fact, I’d argue in its favor (and I would like to see the Blues do it more against Colorado).
A big hit can turn into a problem when the player making that hit, someone who has played hockey his entire life, makes a conscious decision to turn that big hit into an illegal check. Nazem Kadri does that fairly often. He has been suspended five times in his NHL career, most recently in the 2019 playoffs for a vicious cross-check on the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk.
Last night, he set is sights on Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. Faulk has arguably been the best defenseman on the team this season, and is sorely needed if the Blues want to advance to the second round. Having him in the lineup may not be an option:
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) May 20, 2021
Will he be suspended? Chances are good. Kadri was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct, so a hearing with the repeat offender will probably be announced later today.
This would be a golden opportunity for the NHL to redeem itself after its precedence-setting ruling on Tom Wilson earlier this month. It’s clear that Brayden Schenn’s assessment of Kadri as a “guy [who] can’t control himself” is spot-on. What’s less clear is if another suspension will make a difference in changing how he plays.
Faulk’s status is unknown for the next game.
This post will be updated as needed.