The suspension is Tkachuk’s first of his career and it wasn’t all that surprising.
The NHL determined that Tkachuk was making a reverse hit but led with his elbow making direct contract with the head of Drew Doughty. It was quoted as “reckless” and “making the play in a way that can’t be considered reflexive or defensive.”
Tkachuk has walked the line already this season with some questionable slew foots and even a potential headbutt against Minnesota earlier in the year. With those plays in mind, I’m not completely surprised by the ruling.
Tkachuk will sit out Tuesday’s game against the Capitals and Thursday’s game against the Predators. He would be free to return on Saturday against his hometown Blues.
Michael Ferland didn’t make the trip to Washington meaning we could see Curtis Lazar, Freddie Hamilton, or both slotted into the lineup for the Flames next tomorrow or both games.
I also think there could be a possibility of the Flames calling up Mark Jankowski or Garnet Hathaway from Stockton as the Heat don’t play until Friday anyways.
Nevertheless this will make an already tough road trip even tougher, but ultimately seems like the right decision.