In just the fourth game of his second stint with the San Jose Sharks, Brad Stuart made a big impact – literally and figuratively – with this huge check on 20-year-old Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog:
As you can see, the 33-year-old defenseman was forced to drop the gloves immediately after that hit. Avs blueliner Ryan O’Byrne was charged with an instigator penalty, which opened to door for Patrick Marleau’s first power-play goal. O’Byrne, 28, was also tossed from the game.
It’s not all bad news for the Avalanche, though. Landeskog returned to action during the second period of a game that’s still in progress.
Of course, plenty of players have come back from memorable collisions only to miss future games after further assessment, so PHT will keep an eye on the status of the 2012 Calder Trophy winner.
In the mean time, the question is: should Stuart be fined or suspended for that check?
From the “no” category, there’s this video on legal hits to the head:
That being said, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater believes a suspension should be in order. Dater argues that Stuart “left his feet some,” making it suspension material. He also points to this screen cap to argue it’s a hit to the head:
Update: Stuart defended his hit, via CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz:
“You take those hits out of the game, you change the game,” Stuart said.
Meanwhile, Avalanche coach Joe Sacco described the hit to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston as “a direct blow to the head.”
Where do you stand?