Nazem Kadri is expected to miss the remainder of the Western Conference finals after taking a brutal hit from Evander Kane on Saturday night.
Kadri had his back turned just over a minute into Avalanche-Oilers Game 3 when Kane cross-checked the Colorado center into the boards. Kane was issued a five-minute major penalty for boarding Kadri, who did not return to the Avs’ eventual 4-2 win at Rogers Place. The polarizing winger was not ejected, however.
After the game, Kane tried to make sense of the hit.
“I was just coming around on the backcheck,” Kane told reporters, per NBC Sports. “Puck went wide, kind of dribbled into the corner. I know he likes to reverse it. I was just trying to get a bump on him. That’s all I did. Unfortunately, he went into the boards awkwardly and hurt his hands. But that was unfortunate.”
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar kept it short and not-so-sweet with his assessment of the incident.
“The hit is the most dangerous play in hockey,” Bednar told reporters. “It puts him in headfirst from behind, 8 feet off the boards. I’ll leave it at that.”
Colorado should be able to manage against Edmonton without Kadri, as the Central Division champions own a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. But if the Avs advance and Kadri misses more time in the Stanley Cup Final, it could be a big detriment to Colorado.