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Avalanche's Landeskog suspended two games for hit to the head of Bruins’ Marchand (Updated)

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was booted from Thursday’s game against Boston after throwing a huge hit on Bruins winger Brad Marchand. Marchand remained in the game, and even took a roughing minor on the same play for throwing a punch at Landeskog.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety is going to be taking a look at a hit thrown by Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog Thursday night.

In the second period of the Avalanche’s tilt in Boston, Bruins winger Brad Marchand took a step into the middle of the ice to curl inside and fire a shot on Colorado netminder Reto Berra. As Marchand cut to the inside, his body opened up and Avalanche captain Landeskog came in from outside the Colorado zone to throw a huge hit on Marchand. The hit spun Marchand through the air and left him down on the ice for a few moments:

As soon as Marchand got to his feet, he went after Landeskog and threw a punch at him. Marchand was given a minor for roughing for his shot on Landeskog, while the Avalanche winger was handed a match penalty and game misconduct for his shot on Marchand.

There’s some question about where, exactly, the principle point of contact was. If it was the head, this could be a no-doubter suspension for Landeskog. But it’s tough to tell exactly where he makes contact with Marchand, especially because Marchand is in the process of turning to fire a shot. For what it’s worth, Marchand served his entire minor penalty and remained in the game without missing a shift.

The Avalanche, sans Landeskog, would go on to win the contest 3-2.

UPDATE: Landeskog was handed a two-game suspension for the hit. Per the NHL Department of Player Safety, Landeskog's hit on Marchand was a blindside hit where the Bruins winger's head was the principle point of contact.

"Though blindside hits are not illegal in and of themselves, they place the onus entirely upon the player delivering the hit to ensure that the head is not the main point of contact," Department of Player Safety director Patrick Burke said in Landeskog's suspension video.

According to the Department of Player Safety, Landeskog was not determined to have left his feet nor did he extend "unnecessarily" to deliver the hit. Marchand was not injured on the play. The precedent for this type of his was set when Ottawa Senators right winger Mark Stone was handed a two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Detroit Red Wing Landon Ferraro.

Marchand was also penalized by the Department of Player Safety for his actions post-hit. After getting to his feet, Marchand threw a punch at Landeskog while he wasn't protecting himself, drawing a roughing minor on the play. The Department of Player Safety deemed the punch worthy of a $5,000 fine, the maximum allowable under the CBA.


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