Toronto's Kadri suspended 3 games for dirty hits on Backstrom, Granlund


We covered the story last night after Toronto's Nazem Kadri injured Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom with a dirty hit to the face, and today the Maple Leafs' tough guy was suspended three games by the NHL, the league announced.

Backstrom is expected to miss a few days with an upper-body injury. Kadri was later given a match penalty for a vicious blow to Mikael Granlund -- one of the smaller forwards in the NHL.

NHL Network's Mike Millbury, who is normally against fighting in hockey, argued in favor of someone dropping the gloves against Kadri to send a message.

“He made initial contact with the shoulder and the kid had his head down,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said in defense of Kadri, via the Pioneer Press. “He didn’t have his arms up, he ran into the player, Granlund snapped his head back and, obviously, the referee saw it differently.”

Why didn't the Wild retaliate by taking a shot at one of Toronto's best players, or by starting a fight with Kadri? Wild coach Mike Yeo said his club simply couldn't.

“Do we match up against that team’s toughness? No, we don’t,” Yeo said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“If we want to start trading off, we go after Kadri, next thing you know, what are they going to go after? They’re going to go after our guys too and again we don’t match up in that toughness department against them. Now we do have a team that cares about each other very much, and we stick up for each other, trust me.”

Backstrom wasn't the only Wild player injured in the win over Toronto.

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