The Boston Bruins got bullied in the series opener Thursday night. They showed up for Game 2 determined to put that Game 1 stinker behind them.
The ‘Big Bad Bruins’ turned up the physicality during their 4-1 victory. They evened scores with some of the Leafs following their Game 1 debacle, namely Nazem Kadri.
Jake DeBrusk in particular, had some unfinished business with Kadri following his slew foot in Game 1. It didn’t take long for the two combatants to renew acquaintences, either.
DeBrusk put the winger in his place with a big hit and a few additional shots late in the first period, drawing a roar from the capacity crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden. A fired up DeBrusk then chirped at Kadri all the way to the penalty box following the first incident of the night.
The feud didn’t end there. Things escalated further when DeBrusk and Kadri met again in the second period.
In an attempt to maneuver around a pair of Bruins defensemen, Kadri wound up losing the puck in Boston’s attacking end. A charging DeBrusk leaned in with his shoulder lining up for another big hit, but the 2015 first rounder wound up delivering a nasty leg collision with Kadri trying to avoid contact.
“I’d have to see it to be honest,” DeBrusk said about the collision. “I’m not a dirty player, I don’t think I intended to knee-on-knee him. I have no comment on that.”
Kadri returned, and in his typical dirty fashion, got his final say with a cheap shot late in the third. The enigmatic Leafs winger received a game-misconduct following his vicious and unnecessary cross-check to DeBrusk’s face.
DeBrusk went down the tunnel following the hit. He underwent further tests in concussion protocol afterward.
What started as a response from DeBrusk turned into an ugly set of events.
“Seemed to have a few of them,” Cassidy said about the DeBrusk-Kadri altercations. “First one, scrum on the wall. Two guys going at it. I thought second period, I believe it was Jake hit Kadri, but I thought it was clean. Looking back at it, it was shoulder to shoulder. Obviously, Kadri stayed down and that’s his prerogative when he gets hit. And the last one, I don’t know if it was an altercation. I think he came over and cross checked him in the face, and I assumed would be dealt with or looked at and go from there.”
There is certainly no love lost for Kadri, who has a checkered history of being one of the biggest villains in the National Hockey League. And he’ll have an in-person visit with the Player Safety Department at a later date.
“Yea that’s up to the league to decide. I have no comment on that,” DeBrusk added.
An in-person hearing provides Player Safety an option to suspend Kadri for six or more games. You won’t be hearing Kadri’s name for the rest of this series given his history of supplemental discipline, including a three-game suspension for his cheap hit on Tommy Wingels in last year’s first-round series.
The Maple Leafs and Bruins — without Kadri and potentially DeBrusk — have another chapter to write in their postseason history beginning Monday when the series shifts to Toronto for Game 3.
Matt is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in sports journalism and a minor in business. He currently reports on the Boston Bruins and writes featured stories and game recaps for both Bruins Daily and Boston.com
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