My first instinct was to say, “For that??? Really???” But the more I watch this tape of Gabe Landeskog cross-checking Matthew Tkachuk to the side of the head the other night at the Pepsi Center, the more I have to come to the conclusion: Yeah, it’s probably a suspension-worthy hit.
The thing that makes this especially damning to Landeskog – who is expected to, in fact, be suspended by the NHL, but we still don’t know how many games yet and nothing is official either way just yet – is that it was the third cross-check to Tkachuk in this sequence. The first maybe wasn’t a full-blown cross-check to the back, more like just hard jostling for the puck, though he does give him what could be construed as a CC by some.
A second CC to Tkachuk’s side happens, and when Tkachuk is still on his feet and playing the puck, Landy gives him the third CC to the side of the head. If this had just been the first instance, in more of a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing, I bet Landy would have escaped suspension. But the fact that he just kept at it, and did, indeed, feel the need to go at the head on the final CC?
Yeah, it’s probably worth a suspension.
It’s also important to know: Landeskog has a rap sheet already with the NHL Department of Player Safety. He was suspended three games in 2016 for this hit.