February 27, 2013
Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri finally getting defence down
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

Nikolai Kulemin (centre) horses around with Nazem Kadri as David Steckel keeps his eye on the action on Tuesday during a rare practice at the Air Canada Centre. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - The message, it’s safe to say, is getting through to Nazem Kadri.

There was the 22-year-old Maple Leafs forward standing in the dressing room at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday telling a handful of reporters what makes him beam when he glances at his statistics.

Was it his team-high 17 points? His team-best four power-play goals? No and no.

“The thing I am most proud about regardless of the points is my plus-minus,” Kadri said, referring to his plus-7 mark.

“I think it has been great and I have been on the ice for a lot of chances for and have not given up too many against. Maybe it shows the two-way game I am able to put together. Managing blue lines is one thing that has got me in trouble, but I have also fixed.”

Of course, it’s only 20 games. But years of hearing coaches implore him to be responsible are catching up, and there’s no way Randy Carlyle is going to let him slip back into bad habits.


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