I think Nazem Kadri may have knocked Niklas Backstrom into 2015 for a moment in time last night. Not only did Kadri not try to avoid Backstrom, it looked as if he went out of his way to extend his elbow in the head of the Minnesota Wilds’ goaltender. The NHL just handed Kadri a three-game suspension for the hit. Was it enough? No. Backstrom was in the crease and was essentially defenseless. Yes, I understand it’s hockey and that it happens. But the second a player extends his elbow, I think he can sit for more than three games.
At full speed, it looks like a bang-bang play, which was unavoidable. But thanks to slow motion replay, and kids with too much time on their hands creating gif files of the hit, it’s clearly evident he extended his elbow.
Brendan Shanahan thinks three games are enough for this hit. I’d love to get inside his head on just one of these plays. Kadri got the same amount of games as Phil Kessel and he went all Lumberjack in the preseason. Backrstrom was in the crease and was far from fair game. While accidents happen, this one was rather egregious. Shockingly, The Wild decided not to react. It’s fine we can let the comparisons of when Milan Lucic decided to truck stick Ryan Miller and not one of Millers teammates came to his defense.
So much for policing it yourself boys. Then again, if I was on the Wild, I would probably be afraid of Kessel skating after me, tomahawking his way through my teammates with his stick.