Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog didn’t have to wait long to find out his fate after receiving a match penalty against the Boston Bruins. The NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Landeskog two games for his second period hit on Brad Marchand in what was then a 2-2 game. My original stance on this hit can be found “here“.

Then see what the league had to say:
Player Safety Explanation: Landeskog Suspension

To summarize, my key points defining this as a clean hit are:
– Marchand was eligible to be hit and should in fact expect to be hit with the puck in the slot
– Landeskog kept his arm and elbow down
– He didn’t launch up into the hit
– He led with his shoulder
– Initial point of contact is to the shoulder

To summarize, the NHL’s key points on the hit are:
– Marchand was eligible to be hit and should in fact expect to be hit with the puck in the slot
– Landeskog kept his arm and elbow down
– He didn’t launch up into the hit
– He led with his shoulder
– Initial point of contact is to the shoulder

Against the hit being clean I said:
-the only thing that makes this hit dangerous is that it was delivered at a moment when Marchand was completely focused on shooting the puck.

The league said:
– what makes this hit an illegal check to the head is the fact that  Marchand didn’t see him coming and could make no evasive manoeuvres. (Because of the angle of approach)

Basically, the league and I agree on everything except one thing: that because the player shooting the puck does not see him coming, the onus is on the player delivering the check to make sure the head is not the MAIN point of contact. After hitting the shoulder originally, the league suspended based on the fact that the head took the brunt of the hit and they blame this on Landeskog even though he did everything in his power to control the ferocity of the hit.
I put the blame on the nature of the sport of hockey. Even if the angle of approach was head on, the body positioning of Marchand (head lowered to shoot, bent for follow through)was such that chances were no matter what was hit first, the head was going to take a lot of the contact so what the league is asking players to do is to not hit in that case. It’s the only sure way to avoid head contact.

Its interesting to note that after the hit, Marchand got up and sought Landeskog out to deliver a sucker punch to the nose. He got a penalty at the time. I think my favorite part is that Landeskog by the league’s own admission did everything right but basically they suspended him two games because the head was the main point of contact accidentally. Meanwhile, Marchand’s fully intentional and direct blow to the head only got him a $5,000.00 fine.
My closing sentence is the same as before: If you’re not allowed to hit a guy when he’s shooting from the middle of the slot then they may as well stop keeping score.

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3 thoughts on “Landeskog Two Game Suspension “Disappointing”. – Josh Boulton

  1. I’m sick of people saying, if you leave yourself vulnerable, then you deserve to be hit. Its like someone driving a car and noticing that a fellow motorist doesn’t have their seatbelt on. Well I’m gonna cream them to punish their decision for not wearing a seatbelt. If you check someone knowing full well that they don’t know its coming, that’s on you. You are a barbaric puckhead.

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    1. I’m going to comment here, but also respond to your comment on the Gudas article over there as well. I appreciate what you’re saying, but I think the seatbelt argument is different because that driver isn’t voluntarily going onto a bumper car course where intentional collisions are legal and expected. As a hockey player, yes I put myself in dangerous positions, but I would hope that if my back was to somebody, or I was nowhere near the puck for instance, my opponents would respect me enough to back off. If I’m out in open ice with the puck, I would hope my opponent doesn’t elbow me, or jump, or cross check me, or intentionally stick his arm out to make sure they got me in the head. IF I have the puck and I get hit by someone I couldn’t see who keeps his elbow in, doesn’t charge, doesn’t thrust forward, keeps his stick down, etc. If I get hit then, what’s wrong with that? I don’t think that makes me a barbaric puckhead.

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