Nazem Kadri is a big reason the Colorado Avalanche took a 3-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, but he was carrying the weight of threats and racist attacks.
Fans flooded Kadri’s Instagram with death threats and racist remarks after Game 3, during which he collided with Jordan Binnington, knocking the Blues goaltender from the game and keeping him sidelined for the remainder of the series with a lower-body injury.
Blues head coach Craig Berube wasn’t happy there was no penalty called and simply told reporters to “look at Kadri’s reputation” on the ice.
There was added police presence at the Avs’ hotel and their entrance into Enterprise Center before Game 4, and Kadri got the last laugh by potting a hat trick and picking up an assist in a 6-3 win Monday that pushed St. Louis to the brink of elimination.
After the game, Kadri was asked about the threats he’s received over the last couple of days.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with that for a long time. That’s sad to say, but that’s just the fact of the matter. I’m getting good at putting in the rearview mirror. It’s a big deal. I try to act like it’s not. Just try to keep moving forward,” Kadri told the TNT panel after the game. “I know those messages I got don’t reflect every single fan in St. Louis. But for those that hate, that one’s for them.”
Kadri admitted to reporters after Colorado’s win that he’d been upset since receiving the threats and that hearing Berube’s comments (or lack thereof) only added fuel to his fire.
“I guess I needed some fuel,” Kadri told reporters, per The Athletic’s Peter Baugh. “I was pretty upset from the last couple days.
“Starting with their head coach, he made some comments I wasn’t a fan of. I guess he’s never heard of bulletin board material.”
Kadri’s wife, Ashley Cave, shared some of the messages her husband has received, which included just a glimpse of the racist attacks and death threats he’s been dealing with.
Now, Kadri and the rest of the Avalanche look to advance to the Western Conference final with a Game 5 win Wednesday night.