Fans and viewers got their money’s worth watching the Nazem Kadri Show on Thursday night. The New York Islanders? Not so much.
The blossoming Leafs centre made his opponents look silly repeatedly during the entertaining 5-4 overtime win that kept his team in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
It wasn’t just the goals, either, as the 22-year-old recorded the first hat trick of his professional career.
Here’s our top five plays from a game that may be revisited regularly in the future as Kadri’s breakout if his progression toward being a top-flight NHL scorer continues.
THE HAT TRICK
In a game stocked with his own highlight reel of must-see plays, the third goal was the punctuation mark and, fittingly, the most impressive.
Coming into the zone on the right side, Kadri first saw an opportunity to sweep wide past veteran defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky. But Kadri noticed a subtle pivot move from the Islanders defenceman and quickly reacted by flipping the puck to the inside and through Visnovsky. Once clear, he was in alone on a flat-footed Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and beat him low on the stick side as he tumbled to the ice.
Goal No. 3 a beauty for Maple Leafs' Kadri
Toronto Sun | Mar 2