When you walk the walk, you earn the right to talk the talk as well.
Stanley Cup champion Nazem Kadri took the opportunity to do just that during his postgame on-ice interview following the Avalanche’s 2-1 Game 6 victory to clinch the NHL’s grandest prize.
“For everyone that thought I was a liability in the playoffs you can kiss my ass.” Kadri told Sportsnet’s David Amber and Elliotte Friedman.
Kadri has infamously been suspended three different times in the playoffs, twice with the Toronto Maple Leafs and once with Colorado.
While he struggled to control his physicality in the past, Kadri’s swagger is well-deserved following a gritty performance this spring. The London, Ont., native was one of Colorado’s top players this postseason, notching 14 points in 12 games to begin the playoffs while having to deal with racist comments and death threats.
His exceptional start was cut short after he was injured by Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane during the Avs’ third-round series, putting his availability in doubt for the remainder of the playoffs.
Nevertheless, the injury, which turned out to be a gruesome thumb issue, wouldn’t be enough to keep Kadri out, as he valiantly battled back to suit up in time for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. According to teammate Andrew Cogliano, Kadri had pushed his timeline “months, not weeks” in order to dress for the final three games of the series.
Amazingly, Kadri not only returned, but proved to be a key contributor to the Avalanche’s championship. That included scoring an epic (albeit controversial) overtime winner in Game 4 to push the Avs to the brink of glory.
In the end, Kadri finished the postseason with 15 points in 16 games, becoming the first Muslim to etch his name into Lord Stanley’s Mugall while he was unable to tie his own skates due to his broken thumb.
Not bad for a guy who’s a “liability in the playoffs.”
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