NHL suspends Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk one game, citing unsportsmanlike conduct in Wednesday's game against Toronto.— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 7, 2017
The play in question involved Matthew Tkachuk’s actions while on the bench in the first period. Troy Brouwer got drilled in front of the Flames bench and Tkachuk decided it was a good idea to jab Toronto’s Matt Martin with his stick. Tkachuk received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his troubles and a phone call with the Department of Player Safety this afternoon. The league decided a 1 game suspension fit the crime, so Tkachuk will be out against the Montreal Canadiens tonight. Flames fans love Tkachuk’s “borderline” play, but Glen Gulutzan appears to be a little tired of it:
#Flames coach Glen Gulutzan seemingly a little frustrated with Matthew Tkachuk today.— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) December 7, 2017
“You won’t get away with (those things) here” and “he just has to realize where the lines are and the league he’s in doesn’t tolerate that.”#Flames
This is Tkachuk’s second suspension of the season, the other stemming from his actions which started the “brawl” against the Red Wings back on November 15th. That suspension was a little weak, this one appears to be a more warranted.
The Flames can’t afford to lose Tkachuk as the team is struggling right now and his ability to draw penalties (18 on the season) and net front presence are keys to them getting off this losing skid. Tkachuk has 17 points in 27 games this season, good for fourth on the Flames. Despite 2 suspensions, Tkachuk has cut down on his penalty minutes. He only has 29 PIM in 2017-18, good for second on the team.
The Flames play in Montreal tonight at 5:30 MT.