The retired National Hockey League winger and notorious on-ice instigator weighed in on Saturday night's incident involving Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri and Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. Kadri cross-checked DeBrusk in the third period after a series of physical exchanges throughout the game, earning himself a five-minute major and a game misconduct. What concerns you the most and can the Leafs overcome it with the next two games at home. What appears certain is Kadri will again be playing the role of spectator for a lengthy period. Kadri and John Tavares were denied on a Leafs' power play, and Zach Hyman hit the post as the visitors tried to respond.
"It's disappointing for Naz, disappointing for our team", Babcock said. "One of our (strengths) is depth through the middle". Any time you cross the line, though, you have a chance to let someone else make the decision whether you play or not. "I assume it'll be dealt with, or looked at, and we'll go from there".
The Leafs didn't practise on Sunday, taking the day to catch their collective breath after getting beaten soundly hours earlier.
After a highly contested Game 2, @Matt_Grzelcyk5 discusses keeping the intensity up for the remainder of the series: "It was obviously really intense".
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. "They are no different than the teams". They're trying to advance (in the playoffs).
"They eliminate officials as they go, they have people who watch them and decide whether they are the right people to move on".
"For me to sit back the next day and evaluate that, that's not in my control. Just happy we got the win". In fact, Matthews now has just two points (one goal) in nine playoffs games against Boston. Kadri was also suspended four games in April 2016 for cross-checking.
If Babcock can trust Kadri - who is under contract through the 2021-22 season with an annual average salary of $4.5-million USA - we aren't sure how. In his career, he has gone 17-9 with a 2.13 GAA against the Maple Leafs (Reg Sea) and 36-31 with a 2.24 GAA in the postseason.
So, regarding any potential revenge for DeBrusk - whether it be for his knee-on-knee collision with Kadri, his hit on veteran Patrick Marleau, or elbow on Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott - on the part of a Leafs team not exactly built on revenge, No. 74 is just focused on keeping his head on a swivel. DeBrusk and Kadri went off for roughing after wrestling on the ice, although the latter did little to warrant a penalty, save for getting punched in the face. "Obviously, Kadri stayed down, I mean that's his prerogative when you get hit". "There is nothing I can do about it now".
It might not be easy to forecast, and at times it sure looks like it won't be easy on the bodies of players on either team, yet it sure seems like this Round 1 clash will be as exciting and contentious as expected. "No matter what the distractions were off the ice, we agreed as a group we'd keep it internally and I think that helps, especially when things get out of hand". The B's turned that power play into a goal and happily obliged to the Leafs' undisciplined play, tying the series at one with their own 4-1 victory.