Andy Sutton will face the Shannahammer in person on Monday after his hit on Gabriel Landeskog early in the third period last night. It's impossible to know what Sutton's intent was, and it's impossible to know if he was intentionally aiming for Landeskog's head, but it's obvious that he did nothing to avoid hitting Landeskog directly in the head. Sutton's hit comes on the heels of his hit on Matt Hendricks late in Thursday's game against Washington. Sutton hit Hendricks, extended his arms and drove Hendricks head into the glass. Sutton was called for roughing on the play, but wasn't served with a notice from Brendan Shanahan for the hit.
Sutton has a long history of hits ranging from questionable to downright dirty, including a hit on Hendricks last season:
Sutton's hit on Landeskog wasn't questionable - he hit him square in the head. Luckily for Landeskog, he didn't get his head turned all the way around towards Sutton. Had he been able to do so, the results could've been disastrous.
If we use Brendan Shanahan's decisions thus far as a frame of reference, it seems like Sutton will receive a three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head.
Three games, that is, unless Shanahan takes into account Sutton's questionable and dirty history. That Hendricks hit above might look familiar because it was essentially a repeat of a hit Sutton laid on Pascal Dupuis a couple of seasons ago.
Sutton's history is going to come back to bite him in this case. If Shanahan uses three games as a starting point for the check to the head and adds additional time for Sutton's repeat offender status, Sutton will receive a five or six-game suspension. In this case, it's much-deserved.