The NHL Department of Player Safety has come down on Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog just one game into the 2021-22 NHL season. He has been suspended two games for his hit on Kirby Dach of the Chicago Blackhawks, a boarding hit that caught Dach in a vulnerable position.
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The reaction to the hit from a number of NHL fans was that Landeskog’s choice to hit a guy down on one knee like that is dangerous. The DoPS seemed to agree. Perhaps the only reason Landeskog wasn’t suspended longer was because Dach wasn’t seriously injured on the play.
They called the play boarding and said Landeskog was in control of the play and had enough time to recognize the situation Dach was in. Instead of choosing to lay off, he continued the hit at full speed. He knew how far away he was from the boards and because Dach was defenseless, there was no way for him to get out of the way. The responsibility of the hitter to change the impact the hit had and lowering himself to get to the level of his opponent to make the hit more impactful was an obvious sign this was an intentional play.
Landeskog has been suspended three times previously in his NHL career.
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