Very early on in Game Three of the Western Conference Final, Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche was taken out of action by an incredibly dangerous Evander Kane hit from behind. The hit sent Kadri flying into the boards and left him sprawled on the ice in clear distress.
Kane was assessed a five-minute major on the play and will likely speak with NHL Player Safety in the coming days. Unfortunately, it appears Kadri will miss much more than just most of one game.
Evander Kane gets a five-minute major penalty for this hit on Nazem Kadri pic.twitter.com/wycyNWdDbc
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) June 5, 2022
As you can see, Kane makes zero attempt to play a loose puck and instead cross-checks Kadri directly in the numbers as the latter prepared for a battle in the corner. “Luckily”, Kadri was able to twist his body enough to ensure most of the contact he received from the boards was to his shoulder and side instead of his head and neck.
“(Kadri) is out for the series at least, if not longer,” Avs coach Jared Bednar told The Athletic’s Peter Baugh. “The hit, it’s the most dangerous play in hockey.”
The hit came just 28 seconds after Connor McDavid gave the Oilers a lead just 38 seconds into what was basically a must-win for the Oilers. The Avs did not strike on the ensuing five-minute power play but did end up taking Game Three by a 4-2 score.
“One of our best players of the season goes down. It’s unfortunate,” Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog also told Baugh. “I don’t like it. “You’re taught from a young age that you don’t do that, especially that far away from the boards. I’m sure they’ll take a look at it.”
Kane leads the entire league in goals this playoffs with 13 so his absence will definitely be felt in Game Four if he is handed a suspension for the play.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports that postgame, Kane called the incident “unfortunate” and said, “(Kadri) went into the boards awkwardly and hurt his hands.”
Saturday night’s game in Edmonton was sure a spicy one as it also featured this slewfoot from Nathan MacKinnon on Leon Draisaitl that hobbled the big German center and sent him straight to the Oilers lockerroom.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) June 5, 2022
Colorado will go for the series sweep and a chance to move on to the Stanley Cup Final on Monday as Game Four kicks off in Edmonton at 8 PM ET.
Screenshot via TNT
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