Remember, remember, the fifth of November…
Yes it was on this day the King of Pain Kadri himself (minus 1 for not using “Prince” for the alliteration) leveled Daniel Sedin with what 99% of people on the west coast thought was a dirty hit.
Remember Kadri? You might remember him by his other paper nicknames. Fat…so?, Killer, Baby, and Wild Man, which if combined makes him the King of Wild Fat Baby Killers. Or King Fat Baby Wild Killer. Or Killer of Kings, The Wild Fat Baby’s story of triumph and victory. Mix and match at your own discretion.
But I digress.
Saturday is the rematch between these two teams at Rogers Arena. Because of the events of November 5th, there promises to be a little more energy in the crowd than a typical Canucks-Leafs game.
Now, Vancouver was pretty much united in their dislike of this hit. Many people wanted to see a suspension, to try and deter people from going for hits like these in the future. Yes, we used to cheer Scott Stevens on back in the day for doing this, but with what we know of brain injuries now, it’s lost some of that cool factor it once had. Oddly enough we enjoy seeing our heroes live long lives, devoid of symptoms of previous head trauma.
The reaction in Toronto? Not quite on board with that. They felt Kadri was shoulder to shoulder. That Sedin ducked into it. That Kadri was just finishing his check. In fact, Kadri should be hailed as a backchecking legend for doing his god damn job so diligently. Who are you to question El Kadri??
The counter to that from Vancouver of course was “what if someone ran Marner or Matthews like that?” To which Toronto fans said “yeah but Alex Burrows speared someone” to which Vancouver said “what does that have to do with this?” To which Toronto said “why can’t you guys dress up for work properly, you bunch of hippies.” To which Vancouver then threw a yoga mat at them, which led to a lot more east coast vs west coast battles. At one point Dan Murphy engaged Steve Simmons in a rap off. It got weird.
Now, the hit was very contentious amongst fans. It was also a hit that NHL GMs couldn’t agree upon. Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen in fact campaigned to punish this kind of hit earlier in the year but was denied.
The Kadri-Sedin hit is the kind that Jarmo Kekalainen wanted to make part of banned hits last March at GMs meeting. But he got shot down
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 6, 2016
There is always a line of “how much physicality should you take out of hockey” that will be in the limelight in debates like this. There is no question the thrill of a huge hit is a big draw in hockey. Hell, Canada’s reputation and lifeblood in hockey has been “kick ass hockey” for generations. Score goals, and if that doesn’t work? Break their ankles! I won’t lie, as a kid it was a pretty easy thing to be proud about. It’s still an easy thing to be proud about. Who doesn’t love watching your heroes kick the crap out of the other guys?
And when going for big hits, in a game that goes at high speeds, bad things can happen, mistakes can be made. It’s just when things do go bad, teams that are on the receiving end of a borderline hit want to see punishment handed out. Do the crime, do the time, as they say. You want to ride that line? Fine, but you’re going to have to pay for it if you cross it.
Vancouver fans have a lot of practice of knowing how this works, having watched Raffi Torres walk that line, often times going past it, sometimes hitting that line from behind into the boards, and getting suspended for it.
But, Kadri wasn’t suspended. Leaving Canucks fans infuriated. Leaving Leafs fans smugly condescending. It left people in Vancouver wanting revenge.
Now, we all remember Steve Moore. Nobody in Vancouver wants to repeat that, in any way, shape, or form.
But, what people do want December 3rd? A playoff type intensity game from the Canucks. They want Vancouver to take some healthy, legal runs at Kadri. They want to see if the King of Pain enjoys his own medicine. They want to see some justice.
OK well fair enough.
The point is, this is sports. Their guy did something bad to our guy. So we want to see some old fashioned vigilante justice.
A canucks player yelling in the hallway: "Matt Martin's dead. Everyone can hear it. Matt Martin's dead."
Teams play again Dec. 3.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 6, 2016
And again, I cannot stress enough: nobody wants to see runs to the head of Kadri.
They want to see legal hits, making his life hell in the corners, and perhaps a mean word or two tossed his way. Maybe Erik Gudbranson keeps a hockey glove soaking in an outhouse for a month and uses that glove to face wash Kadri in a scrum or something. Talk about how Kadri’s favourite band is overrated.
Not to bring up 2011 arbitrarily, but Brad Marchand speedbagging Daniel Sedin left an imprint on this town. So did the entire 2011 Stanley Cup run. Watching another team take liberties with yours is hard to watch.
There has always been an element of “ok well **** it, let’s just kick their asses” flowing in the undercurrent of Canucks Nation. And that really hasn’t been a part of the Canuck identity for a while now. That isn’t to say outscoring your opponent and outskilling them isn’t awesome, it’s just sometimes you simply want to watch your boys throw down. Sports is primitive, this is a primitive feeling, and sometimes we like to revel in our primitiveness, ok?
So December 3rd, here’s hoping for an old fashioned, physical battle between Canadian foes. Maybe it will be overhyped and nothing will happen. Maybe Bettman will “be in attendance” to scold both teams into passivity. But maybe we’ll have one hell of a game, where both teams bring their A-game, and we see what each team is made of.
And if that isn’t enough, here are some tweets from Toronto fans to get you foaming at the mouth.
(I am well aware there are homer fans/differing views on both sides of the Twitter world, relax)
Nothing wrong with that Kadri hit…Daniel Sedin needs to pay attention…it's his fault that he didn't see it coming.
— Jess The Mess (@juicedds) November 7, 2016
Nothing gets me angrier than players shooting the puck and not paying attention to the hit from the side. Stupid Daniel.
Ahah canucks fans are probably mad because that kadri hit was a legal hit to the shoulder and sedin cried about it
— Michael M (@KoTN71) November 6, 2016
Got us! Cognitive dissonance was way too high for us, so we lashed out at Kadri. Transference at its finest. Freud would be so proud.
— Andrew Whitson (@andrewhitson) November 6, 2016
Well, I mean, he WAS shooting the puck. That’s kind of like ducking?
Hmm I was right, Sedin is perfectly fine, No hearing for Kadri and the Canucks are the worst team in the NHL #ListenToMe
— Loogan (@lomac92) November 6, 2016
New rule: Player must be in coma before it’s recognized as a potentially bad hit.
So happy that Kadri wasn't suspended. That hit on Sedin last night was both clean and heavy, like a delicious kale and chorizo stew
— Luca Capone (@TheNightShiftTO) November 6, 2016
Well kale is disgusting, so this tweet is based on lies.
Last thought about Kadri-Sedin not being a head hit: Sedin was not hurt or concussed. Back on bench 2 mins later
— Kyle Braun (@KyleBraun) November 6, 2016
“Danny, you’re not bleeding from the ears yet, it couldn’t have been a head shot.”
— Corey Butts (@Buttsy413) November 6, 2016
HAHAH BECAUSE GIRLS ARE INFERIOR AT THE SPORTING SPORTS! NAILED IT!
Reilly's hit on Hansen was all shoulder, Kadri's hit on Sedin was clean… cutting across the slot like that with your head down! #headsup
— Marc Rowe (@Rowzy93) November 6, 2016
His head was looking at the net. Where he was shooting.
I dislike Nazem Kadri at all times, with that being said, Sedin is being a bitch, and there shouldn't be any suspension.
— Jarett Asselin (@JarettAsselin) November 6, 2016
The math checks out? Is that how this works? Is this actually DoPS?
— Anthony Thomson (@Anthony_Thomson) November 6, 2016
Did he sell it because he’s Swedish? Would a guy from Red Deer have skated it off and shotgunned a beer?
I need to see another angle, and maybe it's my Sedin-hate-bias, but I don't think Kadri's principle point of contact was head.
— Ryan The Hockey Guy (@RyanHockeyGuy) November 6, 2016
Is there a factory of “The Hockey Guys” I’m not aware of Rob?
I do applaud Ryan for including the pertinent “Sedin-hate-bias”, though. At least he’s honest.
— Bob C (@Bobbycad) November 6, 2016
HAHAH FEMALES SUCK!!!! YA BRO!
Dude Nazem Kadri wouldn't have happened if Reilly didn't get hit. Was a retaliation thing and Sedin got up quick plus he still scored lol
— Ammar (@planetofammmar) November 6, 2016
Well as long as he scored. It should be like the movie The Purge. Anytime a player scores in the NHL, the other team can do whatever they want to him for 15 seconds following the goal.
— David Hamilton (@13hammer55) November 21, 2016