Matthew Tkachuk

Matthew Tkachuk suspended one game for unsportsmanlike conduct

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Another day, another suspension for Matthew Tkachuk.

On Thursday afternoon, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that they have suspended the Flames forward for a game because of an incident that occurred in last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

During a first-period scrum in front of the Flames bench, Tkachuk, who was on the bench, used his stick to spear Maple Leafs tough guy Matt Martin, who was on the ice at the time.

After the game, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock called the move “junior hockey stuff”.

If you missed the incident, you can watch it by clicking the video at the top of the page. 

What this means is that Tkachuk will be forced to miss tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, which is a big deal considering his team will have to play their second game in two nights after losing to Toronto.

Here’s the full explanation of the suspension:

‘Junior hockey stuff’: Matthew Tkachuk earns hearing for spear on Martin (Video)

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Matt Martin would like you to know that he’s fine. That spear from the bench by Matthew Tkachuk during Wednesday night’s game? He didn’t even feel it. In fact, he wasn’t even aware of it until after Toronto’s 2-1 shootout win over Calgary when the media requested to talk to him about the incident.

It was during a late first period scrum in front of the Flames’ bench that Tkachuk jabbed his stick into Martin’s midsection.

That wasn’t missed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which announced that Tkachuk, who wasn’t penalized, will have a hearing on Thursday.

Martin, who didn’t want to offer an opinion on whether Tkachuk should be punished, did have some advice for the young forward.

“I guess if he’s going to do stuff like that he should probably make it count,” he said. “It’s whatever. That’s child’s play. I don’t really get involved in that kind of stuff.”

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock wasn’t a fan either.

“The guys told me in-between periods. I mean, whatever, that’s junior hockey stuff,” he said. “He’ll learn over time. You gotta give Tkachuk credit, he played a good game, he played hard. No reason for that stuff.”

Tkachuk, a well-know shift disturber around the league, has had a busy first few months of the season in the area of discipline. He was suspended one game in November for inciting a brouhaha between the Flames and Detroit Red Wings, which earned Luke Witkowski a 10-game ban. Just 10 days later he was on the receiving end of a Gabriel Landeskog cross-check to the head that caused the Colorado Avalanche captain to sit for four games.

Already holding repeat offender status, Tkachuk will likely find himself sitting out at least one game for this.

UPDATE: One game ban for Tkachuk.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Capitals punishment, Miller gets shutout

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Players of the Night: 

Tom Wilson, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals:

I suppose this is somewhat cheating the system, but instead of doing three separate posts for each guy, why not just praise them all at once? These three had a dominant night as the top line for the Caps, combining for 11 points. Wilson (two goals, two assists) and Ovechkin (one goal, three assists) each had four-point outings. Backstrom scored and added two helpers of his own for good measure.

Ryan Miller, Anaheim Ducks: 

Miller record his first shutout of the season to give the Ducks just their second win in their past nine games. The 37-year-old stopped 29 shots and has yet to lose in regulation this season with a 3-0-4 record.

Highlights of the Night:

Jonathan Toews provided this nasty deke on Braden Holtby in a game that was a lost cause for his Chicago Blackhawks:

This was pretty filthy from Ondrej Kase:

Bone-headed play of the Night:

This one goes to Matthew Tkachuk, who tried to get in a sneaky spear that was inevitably caught on camera. This could require a hearing from the league:

Factoid of the Night:

MISC: 

  • Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Flyers have put together back-to-back wins after a 4-2 defeat of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Don’t plan the parade just yet, though. They’ve only won two of their past 11.
  • NHL insider Bob McKenzie dropped by the NBSCN studios on Wednesday and got a little more specific as to how long Roberto Luongo would be out for. McKenzie said the timeline could stretch up to eight weeks for the veteran netminder.
  • McKenzie added that the Panthers will be looking at the possibility of adding a netminder. 
  • The Senators created a bunch of hope and belief in their dressing room after a 6-5 win against the New York Islanders last week. But they’ve resumed normal service as of late. After getting blanked 5-0 on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa lost 3-0 in Anaheim on Wednesday.
  • Sticking with the Senators, Erik Karlsson has no points in his past 10 games.
  • Ottawa is 1-8-1 in their past 10.
  • Adam Henrique scored his first goal in a Ducks uniform on Wednesday.

Scores: 

Maple Leafs 2, Flames 1 (SO)

Capitals 6, Blackhawks 2

Flyers 4, Oilers 2

Ducks 3, Senators 0


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Avs’ Gabriel Landeskog suspended four games for cross-checking (Video)

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Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will sit for four games after he was suspended for a cross-check to the head/neck area of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk Saturday night.

Landeskog was given a minor on the play, but the situation and severity of the cross-check caused this to be looked at by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

As the video notes, Landeskog has a suspension history with the DoPS but was not considered a repeat offender because his last run-in was over 18 months ago.

When you look at where the puck is, when the final blow is delivered and, of course, where Landeskog gets Tkachuk, it’s clear cut that he was going to sit for a few games. After being suspended three games in March 2016 for a similar cross-check to Simon Despres of the Anaheim Ducks, he said there was, “no excuse for anything like that. …It was just a really, really, really dumb play on my part.” We’ll likely be hearing a similar quote from him in the coming days.

The four-game ban will cost Landeskog $119,815.68 in salary. He’s eligible to return to the Colorado lineup for their Dec. 7 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Gabriel Landeskog lands player safety hearing after cross-check

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Gabriel Landeskog is in hot water with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety (again) after cross-checking Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk in the head on Saturday.

The NHL announced Sunday that the Colorado Avalanche captain, who is no stranger to the league’s disciplinary committee, would have a hearing scheduled for Monday.

The incident, which can be seen below, shows Tkachuk fighting for a loose puck at the side of Colorado’s net in the first period of 3-2 Fames win on Saturday. Landeskog does well, initially, to get Tkachuk away from the puck, but then fires off two cross-checks, the second landing flush on the side of Tkachuk’s face.

Landeskog was issued a two-minute stint in the sin bin for cross-checking on the play. Tkachuk remained in the game and assisted on the ensuing power-play goal by Dougie Hamilton.

Landeskog has had issues with his stick getting horizontal and getting too high in the past.

In March of 2016, Landeskog was handed a three-game suspension for cross-checking then-Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Despres in the back of the head, which the 25-year-old said was, “really, really, really dumb play on my part.”

In November of 2015, Landeskog was given a two-game ban after a hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.