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.

Adrian Dater

Adrian Dater is a staff writer with BSNDenver. He started his journalism career way, way back in 1988 as a proofreader with the Concord Monitor as a kid out of college (Keene State College), and has wended its way since with a 25-year stop at The Denver Post, 20 of which were spent as the beat writer of the Colorado Avalanche, from its inception in 1995. Adrian has also worked as a primary hockey writer with Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The Hockey News, Versus.com and Bleacher Report. He is the author of seven sports books, including the best-selling “Blood Feud: Colorado Avalanche v. Detroit Red Wings, The Inside Story of Pro Sports’ Nastiest and Best Rivalry of Its Era” and “100 Things Avalanche Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die”, which was published in October, 2016.

  • Pixelrebirth

    … this one is going to be a bad one I fear. He got a bad wrap on his first offense sure, but the last one was obvious and this one is obvious. Andrighetto Ive seen is taking his place in practice… it’s coming. I just hope it’s not horrifically long.

    • Alex Ward

      4 Games I believe is what it ended up being

    • Jimbotronn

      Good call. Yeah I told myself this morning not to be surprised if he got a suspension, based on Landy’s past transgressions and reputation. If he was a guy who’d never been suspended, that’s probably a fine and nothing more, but he’s a repeat offender and they don’t cut repeat offenders much slack, as well they shouldn’t. Landeskog needs to be smarter and safer than that.

  • daddyofczar

    Games and $$$$

  • Chris DeMott

    I’m gonna take a guess at 2 games, because of his prior offense. The one thing he will have going for him is what was repeatedly stated in the 2016 video. This was a battle for position at the net. The shot to the head with the stick was inexcusable even if unintentional. Gabe needs to adjust his technique and stop hurting his team with sloppy penalties and reckless play.

    • TonyTrujillo

      Couldn’t agree more. At first, just watching a quick (and tiny) video of it I thought it was a reach. Seeing him connect with the neck/head made me re-think. Just not something one of the teams core players should be doing.

      • TonyTrujillo

        Also, I can’t stop singing the “Knife or banana” song in my head…

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