Did Don Cherry's kiss curse Leafs' Kadri?

Grapes gives Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri a quick smooch on Hockey Night last month. (YouTube)

Grapes gives Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri a quick smooch on Hockey Night last month. (YouTube)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 PM ET

TORONTO - When we last saw Nazem Kadri in our nation’s capital as part of the illustrious Battle of Ontario, he was getting a peck on the cheek from Don Cherry in front of a national television audience.

Who knew that such a little smooch may have been the kiss of death as far as Kadri’s scoring touch is concerned?

Since that memorable 4-0 victory at Scotiabank Place on March 30, Kadri has yet to find the back of the net again, a telling sign of a moribund Leafs team that has been outshot in 17 of its past 19 games by a 622-492 margin.

Now, entering what arguably is the most significant chapter in the fabled Battle of Ontario since the Sens and Leafs clashed in the 2004 post-season, Kadri and his teammates had best find a way to shed their recently sloppy habits if they want to get one step closer to clinching a playoff berth.

“We know how big this game is,” Kadri said. “We have to come out and take it to them.

“That doesn’t mean going out there looking to kill people and trying to cut off the heads of anyone you see. We just have to stick to our system.”

Good to know that, even with all the bitterness bubbling between these two rivals, Kadri and the Leafs aren’t seeking to maim their opponents.

Of course, if Toronto’s two-game slide escalates into the improbable distaster that would see them miss the playoffs, we can’t guarantee that their own fans won’t be looking to give them such gruesome treatment.


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