Leafs head home looking to regroup with Kadri's status in limbo

Leafs head home looking to regroup with Kadri's status in limbo

Leafs head home looking to regroup with Kadri's status in limbo

Auston Matthews scored his first goal of the playoffs and set up another as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal. Frederik Andersen played another incredible game, but his efforts were wasted by another poor effort from his team.

The Boston Bruins tied the Calgary Flames for the 2nd most points in the league this year, but they did not play well down the stretch and they went out and lost game one on their home ice by a score of 4-1. Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots in front of a crowd of 19,611.

The curse began with the heartbreaking third-period blowout that eliminated Toronto from playoff contention in 2013 after being up 4-1 after 40 minutes and reared its ugly head again last spring when the Leafs entered the third in Boston up 4-3, only to lose the elimination match 7-4.

"He's got to compete at a high level with and without the puck".

If Mike Babcock had chose to award the opportunity by merit, it likely wouldn't have been Johnsson stepping in Kadri's pivot role on the power play he helped unlock after an 0-for-4 start. That means the league has the option to suspend him for more than five games. That's good for hockey, it's good for the Bruins and it may even be good for the Toronto Maple Leafs, because clearly Kadri playing against this particular team and this particular player brings out the worst in him.

"It's disappointing for Naz, it's disappointing for our team", Babcock said.

For those who fear the loss of Nazem Kadri puts the series in jeopardy, remember that Kadri was suspended past year in Game 1, and a team without John Tavares at centre still managed to keep themselves in the competition without him. So far in the first two games of this series, we have seen no more than five goals scored.

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The NHL, if it so decides, could levy a suspension of six games or more considering the hearing is not being done by phone. But the Bruins were not about to go quietly and responded with a power-play goal of their own to cut the Leafs' lead to 3-2 going into the third period. Kadri was also suspened for the final three games of the Leafs' 2018 playoff loss to Boston. You have to own your play, you have to own your discipline, you have to own what's going on. William Nylander took Kadri's spot as the third-line centre, with winger Connor Brown moving up from the third line to take Nylander's spot and Tyler Ennis joining the fourth line.

It appears as though Kadri could sit out the remaining games of this series.

All hell is breaking loose in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Kadri was assessed a hooking penalty late in the period, and as he raced to get back in the play, took a knee-on-knee hit from DeBrusk.

Mar 13, 2015 Missed 3 games (disciplinary).

"They had a push and we weren't really ready for it", Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin said after the game in the visitors locker-room at TD Garden. The fact that DeBrusk has been able to lure Kadri into a smashmouth competition is laughable.

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