Gabriel Landeskog Suspended Four Games by NHL Player Safety

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Gabriel Landeskog
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15: Alec Martinez (27) of the Los Angeles Kings attempts to knock the puck loose from Gabriel Landeskog (92) of the Colorado Avalanche as he skates towards an empty goal during the third period at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on November 15, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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After a call with the Department of Player Safety Monday afternoon, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has been suspended four games for his cross-check on Matthew Tkachuk.

The suspension will keep Landeskog out of the line-up until next Thursday when the Avs play the Eastern Conference leading Tampa Bay Lightning. This is not Landeskog’s first suspension as he was suspended in March of 2016 for a cross check to the head of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Despres.

Gabriel Landeskog Suspended Four Games by NHL Player Safety

Due to the time in between suspensions though Landeskog does not fall under the repeat offenders category.

Landeskog has been a key part of the Avalanche resurgence this season. He currently leads the team in goals (nine) and sits tied for third in points (17). Playing alongside young stars Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen has helped Landeskog return to form this season.

The young Swedish captain has seen his numbers drop consistently every year since his career high 65-point campaign in 2013-2014. The years that followed have only seen him manage 59, 53 and 33 points respectively. This season though, Landeskog was on pace to eclipse the 60-point mark for only the second time in his career. Its hard to say if the suspension will in fact slow his production but it will most likely not do much to help.

As far as the Avalanche are concerned the suspension creates a rather large hole on their top line. While Rantanen and MacKinnon are flexible players it could pose a problem going forward. Expect free agent signees Colin Wilson or Nail Yakupov to possibly slide into the top three. There is also a possibility the rookie sensation Alexander Kerfoot makes the jump to top line minutes. Kerfoot currently sits tied for second on the team in goals with seven. He may have earned the chance to step up.

With a tough schedule in the next week and a half, they will need to figure it out quickly. The high flying Winnipeg Jets and the New Jersey Devils will make it a quick learning curve for whoever jumps up.

 

Main Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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