Hockey can be an incredibly physical game. The refs are tasked with keeping things reasonable, determining whether a hit is excessive or in violation of the rules. During a playoff game, the Bruins and Maple Leafs squared off. The refs gave the teams a lot of leeway when it came to hits, and things escalated quickly.
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Players from the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs came to play on Saturday. The game, which took place in Boston, became incredibly physical with a total of 83 hits being delivered, according to a report by Deadspin.
While many of the hits were pretty run of the mill, at least in hockey, some stood out from the pack. Players jammed sticks into the faces of their opponent, helmets thudded into the boards, and full-on brawls happened with regularity.
This is inexcusable from Kadri pic.twitter.com/NQMZU1ychA
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) April 14, 2019
The refs let a ton of hits slide, either because they felt they were reasonably clean or they simply didn’t see them. However, the looser officiating style seemed only to encourage the players to be more aggressive.
Kadri hurt after knee-to-knee collision with DeBrusk pic.twitter.com/OaJOjzibeG
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 14, 2019
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri, after a collision with Jake DeBrusk, decided to get revenge on his opponent. While many would consider Kadri’s hit dirty, the lack of control by the refs may have left him feeling there was no other option.
Kadri will have to attend an NHL Player Safety hearing for the hit, though it isn’t clear precisely when that will occur.
Discussing the physical nature of Saturday’s game, Toronto coach Mike Babcock stated, “The referees, the way they reffed the game, let a lot of stuff go.”
“You can’t let that get in the way of what you’re doing,” he continued. “Playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs isn’t supposed to be easy, and it’s worth it.”
“Every game in the series is supposed to get better, it’s supposed to get harder” Babcock added. “We have to elevate our game here and respond.”
Ultimately, the Bruins took Game 2 with a score of 4-1.