Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri won’t face disciplinary action for an unpenalized collision that injured St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.
The two came together early in Game 3. Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen were pursuing a loose puck. Rosen bumped Kadri before both players crashed into Binnington. The Blues goaltender left the game and did not return; he’s expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the series against the Avs with a reported knee sprain.
No penalty was called on the play by referees Wes McCauley and Eric Furlatt. Player Safety reviewed the incident, opting not to levy any supplemental discipline.
“I just see a loose puck,” Kadri said of the play. “I was kind of just sitting behind him and just tried to poke it with my stick. And I think their defenseman kind of collided with me and pushed me into him. So, you know, had that not been the case, I don’t think I would have hit him at all. It’s a loose puck. I’m just trying to bang it in.”
There’s an argument to be made that Rosen was responsible for the contact. The blueliner also collided with his own keeper, and his bump on Kadri prevented the Colorado forward from avoiding the goaltender. If a goal were scored on this play, it may have even counted based on Rule 69.1, as Kadri didn’t have much of a chance to get out of the way.
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
Colorado head coach Jared Bednar defended the hit, calling it “a legal play.”
Blues head coach Craig Berube was not so sure.
“Look at Kadri’s reputation. That’s all I’ve got to say,” Berube said after Saturday’s game.
Kadri certainly has a lengthy rap sheet with the league – especially in the playoffs. His most recent suspension was an eight-game ban in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. He was also suspended in the opening rounds in 2018 and 2019, then with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After the game, the two crossed paths during Kadri’s postgame interview, with Binnington allegedly throwing a water bottle at the Avs’ center.
“Not sure if he just threw a water bottle at me” 😳
Nazem Kadri appears to have a water bottle thrown at him while discussing the collision with Binnington 🔎 pic.twitter.com/6XLbAdxEEm
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) May 22, 2022
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) May 22, 2022
Game 4 is Monday night in St. Louis. The officials – expected to be Kelly Sutherland and Jon McIsaac – may have their hands full for that one…