Kadri comes up big

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

Nazem Kadri prides himself as a player who doesn’t show fear at the big-league level.

But he was a nervous nelly as he lined up for his shootout attempt and a chance to extend the tenuous Maple Leafs playoff lifeline.

“How can you not be (jumpy)?,” Kadri said. “I’m 20-years-old going against the best goalie in the league. From the time I stepped on the ice for the shot to when the referee blew the whistle, it seemed like 10 or 15 minutes. There are going to be some nerves there, but I overcame it.”

After Phil Kessel had been stopped by Tim Thomas, Kadri swooped in, dangled the puck with little real estate to spare and then deposited a backhand over Thomas. Coach Ron Wilson selected Kadri in part because he has some tricks in his shootout bag.

“I went down, saw that Thomas moved his glove down as well and I was fortunate enough to go upstairs,” Kadri said. “I didn’t know exactly what I was goining to do, but I guess I got lucky.”

Thomas gave Kadri credit, but the Leafs have beaten him three times this year.

“I don’t get to watch them all year long, but if they played the same way every game against us, I’d expect them to be in a better spot.”


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