When you’re one of the league’s best point-getters and your stick goes dry, if even only for a few minutes, your mind begins to race. Especially if your team is losing. So naturally, if you place Jamie Benn in the faceoff dot with Nazem Kadri, a player as talented at getting under your skin as he is at scoring goals, things are likely to escalate.
Benn perhaps took it too far, though.
As you can see above, Benn sticks his stick in between the legs of Kadri and pulls up. There isn’t really much room for plausible deniability here; Benn obviously knew what he was doing. Kadri responded back with a punch, and Benn swung back before the two were separated. Neither received a penalty on the play though the Leafs quickly responded with a goal. It’ll be interesting to see if there will be any post-game discipline given to Benn; using ones stick like this is typically worthy of a fine, or in more severe situations, a suspension.
More info on how the game went in our postgame, which should be up shortly.