Nazem Kadri And Mike Babcock's Future In Doubt?

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri may face another postseason suspension, this time for cross-check

Down 2-0 after leaving Boston, the Leafs allowed 12 goals against and only scored 4 of their own, losing the first two games played 5-1 and 7-3. Toronto netminder Frederik Andersen was sharp and made several high-quality stops, and his counterpart, Tuukka Rask, also had to be at his best to keep the Buds off the scoresheet. Boston has scored five goals and allowed five. The incident occurred with 5:57 left in the Maple Leafs' 4-1 loss in the first-round playoff series.

Morgan Rielly wasn't out of breath when he spoke to media late on Monday night. And after yet another controversial cross-check on Jake DeBrusk in Game 2 against Boston, Kadri has been suspended for the remainder of the first round against the Bruins, the league announced Monday. Krejci got a goal easier than he should have when both Matthews and Kasperi Kapanen failed to cover the slot when Rielly was knocked off the puck at the end boards. He could receive a suspension of five games or more. Kadri appeared to cross-check DeBrusk in the head. This would be the fifth time in his career that he's been suspended for an illegal check and the eighth time he's faced discipline from the league - he's been fined three times. The Bruins evened the series 1-1 with their victory in Game 2.

"It's disappointing for Naz, it's disappointing for our team", Babcock said. His inability to control his emotions may have prevented him from playing that role, and may ultimately provide him a one-way ticket out of town.

With two pucks placed perfectly, perhaps then the opportunity to serve as the axis point between the four most talented players on the roster was all the motivation Johnsson needed to rediscover his game at the precise moment for the Maple Leafs. According to the NHL and NHL Players Association's collective bargaining agreement, a player has the right to an in-person hearing if facing a possible suspension of six or more contests. "Basically let them know how we're going to play".

Kadri's retaliatory cross-check on DeBrusk at 14:03 of the third period came after DeBrusk checked Marleau into the curved glass at the Bruins bench.

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Kadri was given a cross-checking penalty and ejected with a game misconduct.

A couple of guys stepped up in Game 3.

There are some who have been speculating about Mike Babcock's future as the Maple Leafs head coach if they were to have another first-round exit.

It marks the second year in a row Kadri has been dealt a suspension in the playoffs, as he was given a three-game ban for a hit on former Bruins forward Tommy Wingels last season. Bruins defenceman Connor Clifton sat out with an undisclosed injury, while winger Marcus Johansson missed a second consecutive game with an illness.

Especially since those hockey talents make him so valuable that the Maple Leafs cannot afford to lose him when he inevitably does resort to those shenanigans that get him removed from the lineup. Kadri assumedly went to the defence of his 39-year-old linemate, but instead of dropping the gloves or getting into another shoving match, Kadri saw red and planted his stick into Debrusk's jaw.

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