The Department of Player Safety has handed out the first suspension of the regular season, banning Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche for the next two games. Landeskog delivered a hard check to Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach in last night’s game. As the accompanying video explains:
It is important to note that Landeskog is in control of this play. Dach is on one knee facing the wall, and is defenseless in this situation. Sliding along the ice with limited ability to evade or brace for contact. Landeskog has enough time to recognize the situation his opponent is in and rather than avoiding contact or minimizing the force of the hit, chooses to drive the vulnerable Dach into the wall with considerable force. It is the combination of the defenseless position Dach is in, the player’s dangerous distance from the boards at the time of contact, and the speed and force of the hit that caused this hit to rise to the level of supplementary discipline.
Notably, Dach did not suffer a serious injury on the play but Landeskog does have three suspensions on his record already. Though he is no longer considered a repeat offender in terms of salary forfeiture, those suspensions are taken into account when deciding suspension length.
The team was already without Nathan MacKinnon last night, who is still in the COVID protocol after a positive test result. They now may be without both for Saturday night’s match against the St. Louis Blues. Landeskog will also miss next Tuesday’s match against the Washington Capitals.
Blake Coleman was suspended for 1 regular season game and 1 preseason game. So not technically the first regular season suspension.
Evaluation by DoPS in slo-mo, again. Not a surprise. Landy did have a cartoon bubble over his head stating, “Patience, my ass, I’m gonna kill something!” He did, and now he sits for two. With Coleman, his hit on Harkins was seemingly pretty bad. That is, until somebody in the scrum probably yelled at Harkins that he was diving, which made him come back to life, almost magically. Dach was legitimately crunched, regardless of the speed you watch it at.
It was gruesome to watch and I’m glad that Skog got served for it. What sickens me most though is that several on Twitter, B-R, etc have said that Dach actually “deserved” to be hit like that merely because he had puck possession. That’s despicable. There’s a lot of morally bareft, bloodthirsty people out there. Maybe it’s the thin air…
@Palehosed85 – Now you know why some of us restrict our exposure to certain sites of known columnists and beat writers who are generally held in high regard. I am not surprised at that stupidity, unfortunately. Nobody “deserves” to get smashed when they are in a vulnerable position and can’t properly defend themselves against a hit, legal or otherwise. BTW, for anyone else reading the posts here, when I said “legitimately crunched”, above, I did not mean it was a legal hit, but that he was really, truly, crunched, as opposed to Harkins’ “hard bump.”
no issues with hard, tough hockey play but if the NHL really wants to eliminate this type of cheap shot Landeskog should have been given 10 games. Handing out 1 or 2 game suspensions isn’t going to deter players from this type of dangerous play.