What’s eating Nazem Kadri?

Or rather, “What’s Nazem Kadri been eating?”

Here’s a worrying trend: In the last five games, Leafs 5-on-5 scoring chances with Nazem Kadri on the ice:

  Chances For Chances Against
vs. NJD 0 2
@ WSH 0 2
vs. NYI 2 4
@ OTT 5 5
@ TBL 1 1
Total 8 14

In the last five games, Leafs 5-on-5 scoring chances without Nazem Kadri on the ice:

  Chances For Chances Against
vs. NJD 6 7
@ WSH 9 5
vs. NYI 5 7
@ OTT 3 6
@ TBL 12 11
Total 35 36

I checked back and indeed, this is Nazem’s worst five-game stretch on the season. Not just in scoring chance differential (minus-6) but in overall scoring chances with Kadri on the ice. Just 1.6 chances for the Leafs per game in the last five, the worst five-game stretch all season.

Kadri’s shots per game rate has also fallen off a cliff since his hat-trick against the Senators. In the last ten games, he’s had a multi-shot game just three times.

But what’s surprising is that even without one of their best players from this season not performing, the Leafs have managed to hang tight with their opponents without Kadri. The scoring chance differential is just a minus-five for what is visually the Leafs’ worst five-game stretch of the season.

I’d suggest an injury, but he’s not disclosing it. If he were, you’d think Randy Carlyle would have given him a night off since he said that’s why Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren both sat last night against Tampa Bay.

After the hat-trick against Ottawa, his on-ice shooting rate was about 20 per cent. That obviously wasn’t sustainable, so you’d expect the on-ice scoring chances to fall slightly, but the drop-off has been both substantial and noticeable. You also wouldn’t expect Kadri’s shot rate to be affected. After the “kiss game”, his shots per game rate had climbed to 2.4. Since, it’s been just 1.5.

James van Riemsdyk faced a similar performance slump this season but eventually played his way out of it. Normally I don’t worry too much about points and player production over a small sample, but when all the performance numbers like shots, and scoring chances fall off pretty noticeably, it becomes something to worry about.

We reached Kadri for comment: