Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk suspended one game

It’s been a rough couple months for the Flames’ precocious left-winger.

Last night, Matthew Tkachuk speared Matt Martin while on the bench. As such, the NHL has suspended Tkachuk for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

It’s certainly going to be tougher for the Flames to snap a three-game losing skid tonight without Tkachuk (and possibly Jaromir Jagr again).

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Below is the video of the spear. It is easy to spot Tkachuk, just look for the child compulsively devouring a mouthguard.:

Despite playing well last night and scoring a nice goal in a shootout, the main talking point following the loss had nothing to do with what Tkachuk did on the ice.

Honestly, it’s impossible to defend spearing a guy from the bench. Does worse stuff happen on the ice most nights? You bet. Does that matter? Nope. Tkachuk is an absolutely fantastic hockey player, something he probably doesn’t get enough credit for around the league.

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But instances like these certainly don’t help. Mike Babcock alluded to this point following the game:

I tend to agree with Babcock’s assertion here that this kind of thing isn’t needed for a player of Tkachuk’s calibre. Surely, given what we’ve seen from his play so far as a Flame, Tkachuk does enough on the ice to get under opponents’ skin. This is just a needless move, the kind that will always get you in trouble.

Here’s the video from DOPS about the suspension:

In the short term, this throws the Flames’ lineup into (even more) chaos, with Jagr already a game-time decision and Kris Versteeg out long-term. For a team that is struggling to find some consistency, losing one of their most productive wingers is… suboptimal, to be sure.

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If Jagr is unable to go, perhaps Sam Bennett moves up to play with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik and the bottom six is some stew of Freddie Hamilton, Curtis Lazar, Matt Stajan, Troy Brouwer, Garnet Hathaway, and Mark Jankowski. Yikes. I’m sure you see the problem here.

Tkachuk is such a valuable player, a member of one of the best possession lines in hockey, and, yes, a huge pest. Hopefully, he finds ways to stay on the ice (and in the lineup) because the Flames need him.

  • Sammy p

    Not to forget the after the whistle slewfoot that put Brandon Davidson on the LTIR
    ,”those who live by the sword- die by the sword”.
    So far Tkachuk has com

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Still whining about that?
      McDavid has had more dirty hits that go uncalled than Tkachuk’s uncalled ones.
      How about Crysby’s hook to the nuts that went uncalled?
      Or the slash to Methot that lopped off his finger?

  • Sammy p

    Not to forget the after the whistle slewfoot that put Brandon Davidson on the LTIR
    ,”those who live by the sword- die by the sword”.
    So far Tkachuk has only completed the first part of that rule.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Nothing for Martin? love tap from the bench ONE GAME SUSPENSION~! Hit a player from behind and into the boards after the whistle… NOTHING??? Oh that’s right, he wears a Maple Loafs Jersey… BS~!

  • JusAFlamer

    Hate to say it, but is deserved 1 game.
    The guy is great and will be good for years to come, but needs to stop the from the bench stuff.
    (do not agree with the previous 1game for tap on foot) but this one deserving.

    My only question is, wtf is player safety doing? 1 game for this (deserved) 1 game for the 2 handed slashing/chop by Dillion (sharks)
    AND if they can go back on non-calls. Nothing to Sid for some of the can-openers or vicious slashes

    • JMK

      Suspensions will only benefit Calgary if we are playing that team while the suspension is in place or if that team is directly competing with Calgary. Otherwise what good do they serve? Potentially weakening teams that may take points off Calgary’s rivals.

  • Wyatt

    The NHL is honestly a disgrace. I do not consider NHL hockey a sport. If they allowed the game to be played freely without trying to set the game by deciding who can and can’t win games, then it isn’t a sport. Personally, after this year, I will be boycotting the NHL for 5 years.

    • Have to agree, Flames got Wideman’d several times last year, while the Oilers got screwed by the officials and probably head office with the Ducks series. Starting to resemble WWE officiating . The bias in officiating is obviously slanted in favor of US based teams. Does not matter which one.

      • ThisBigMouthIsRight

        Don’t kid yourself, the Flames got screwed by the officials and head office with the Ducks series too, I don’t think the Flames would have beat the Ducks in 7, But if Definitely shouldn’t have been a sweep!

        • It is still happening (Probably with the blessings from head office). Frolik penalty (did not touch anyone) Hamonic got a penalty for head hunting. Hit him in the chest. All hits to the head are supposedly reviewed by the league. So why no suspension or hearing if they claim the call was legit? BUSH LEAGUE.

      • The Doctor

        That non-call on Kesler when Kesler grossly interfered with Talbot on that goal in the playoffs last year was an absolute disgrace. And I say that as a Flames fan and lifetime Oiler hater. Kesler clearly and deliberately grabbed Talbot’s pad, preventing him from moving and making a save. I practically passed out in shock that they didn’t call it. Made all the more painful by the fact that It was Kesler, the biggest [expletive deleted] in the league, who got away with it.

  • Captain Ron

    1 game suspension for that? Man how things have changed. Some things for the better and some not. Anyone notice how nearly all of the TV timeout video clips on the Jumbotron are way too old to be in Hi Def? There would be lifetime suspensions now for some of the stuff that went on in the good old days.
    Funny how it is still OK to run a guy from behind into the glass or boards though.

  • Alberta Ice

    The incident last night from the bench was totally out of place and should not have happened. Matty has to learn to stay out of the petty stuff, especially when he’s not even on the ice. He is too good a player and too valuable to this team to be caught up in those types of shenanigans.

    • The Doctor

      The thing is, MT is hardly the only really talented athlete who lets his obnoxious temperament get the best of him — see “Duron Carter” for starters.

  • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

    I don’t like going into a game without one of our top performers. I also think that watching Matt Martin slam someone from behind after the whistle deserves a second look as well. But these two things have nothing to do with the real issue at hand. Matthew Tkachuk used his stick in a way that has no value in progressing towards a hockey outcome while he was on the bench interacting with a player on the ice. He was suspended two weeks ago for the careless use of his stick to provoke another situation. We can argue all we want, but the league wants nothing to do with stick work like this. He needs to get that out of his game, and if sitting him down for a game doesn’t work, then the league is going to sit him down for more than a game next time. Very simple … Matthew … clean it up. (But not too much … we love how you get under the bad guys’ skins!)

    • freethe flames

      It was selfish and childish and could cost the Flames a game tonight. I liked his aggressive nature during the game but this type of crap is not needed.

  • Chucky

    Stupidest coach in the NHL always responds to a goal against with his fourth line. Flames cannot win with this level of stupidity. I really cannot imagine how much talent a team would need with this level of coaching.