Nazem Kadri Touted as Hero, 'Villain' by Fans After Avs vs. Blues Game 3 Controversy

Erin WalshMay 22, 2022

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 21:  (L-R) Nazem Kadri #91 and Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate Kadri's goal against the St. Louis Blues in the second period during Game Three of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Enterprise Center on May 21, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Saturday in Game 3 of their second-round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup to take a 2-1 series lead, but not without a little controversy.

Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington exited the game early in the first period after both Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen crashed into him while chasing a rebounded shot.

Ville Huuso replaced Binnington for the remainder of the game. 

Sportsnet @Sportsnet

Ville Husso is now in between the pipes for the <a href="https://twitter.com/StLouisBlues?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StLouisBlues</a> after Jordan Binnington left with an injury on the play below. ⤵️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stlblues?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#stlblues</a> <a href="https://t.co/8oaGHdPHH2">pic.twitter.com/8oaGHdPHH2</a>

While some fans were quick to blame Kadri for the collision, comparing him to the likes of Tom Wilson and former NHLer Sean Avery, others viewed him as the hero of Game 3 after scoring a goal in the second period and playing with a competitive edge.

Nathan Yamnitz @nyamnitz

Nazem Kadri is the new Tom Wilson. Convince me otherwise.

Zach Berman @BermanZB

Nazem Kadri taking out Jordan Binnington, becoming public enemy #1 in St Louis, and then scoring the next period is something straight out of Sean Avery’s playbook (against NJ)

Brennan McKinney (ChiefBlue4298) @STLBluesFan98

Nazem Kadri is becoming a villain in St. Louis

Eddie Gregory @EddieGregory81

Look what happens with the Avalanche in the playoffs when Nazem Kadri is playing on that edge but isn't getting suspended.

Avalanche Forever @citchmook

I definitely love Nazem Kadri.

Trusted Hockey Man Ethan Bodie @MurphyOConnor2

I really want the Washington Capitals to sign Nazem Kadri and put Tom Wilson on his wing just for the chaos. Ideally Brad Marchand is the other winger in this scenario

Peter Baugh @Peter_Baugh

Nazem Kadri, who has been booed every time he's touched the puck, scores just after the power play to make it 2-1. Cale Makar fired the puck in and Kadri tipped it.

Kadri has been viewed by a number of NHL fans in the past for being dirty, so it's not necessarily surprising that many laid into him during and after Saturday's game. 

The 31-year-old was suspended eight games in June 2021 for an illegal check to the head on Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in their first-round playoff series. Including that suspension, he has been suspended a total of 16 playoff games and 11 regular-season games. 

As for Binnington, his status moving forward is unclear. The 28-year-old played a significant role in St. Louis' 2019 Stanley Cup championship and will need him healthy to move further in the playoffs. 

Binnington had also been playing well entering Saturday's game, posting a .948 save percentage and a 4-1 record in five playoff games. If he is unavailable, Huuso will likely get the start in Game 4 at Enterprise Center on Monday.