Ask Peelsy: How many games for Auston Matthews?

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Sunday night that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews will have a hearing Monday for his cross-check against Sabers defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in Sunday’s Legacy Classic at the Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, Ontario.

Daily Faceoff rules analyst and longtime NHL referee Tim Peel is here with his insight.

Hey Peelsy, how many games for Matthews?

The Incident

It’s not hard to figure out what triggered Auston Matthews in this streak.

He chewed with Rasmus Dahlin, exchanging blows, but the game situation is important.

The Maple Leafs trailed the 29th-ranked team in the NHL by a 4-2 margin with just over five minutes left in what was expected to be a celebratory away game at The Hammer.

He was clearly frustrated with the game and the score. It was the 10th time in Toronto’s last 12 games that they allowed four or more goals. With five minutes to go, he didn’t have much to lose.

When players commit an infraction during play that warrants a suspension, it’s usually more reactionary. It is important to consider.

In my opinion, he wouldn’t have done that in the first half or in a tight game. He would have kept his cool.

I think plays like this, and the kneeing streak that earned teammate Jason Spezza a six-game suspension in December (later reduced to four games on appeal), are more calculated and deserve a suspension. more severe.

Like Spezza, Matthews has never been fined or suspended in his six-year, 390-game career. He was a runner-up last season for the Lady Byng Trophy as the game’s most gentlemanly player with five minor penalties.

It’s also important to consider the Department of Player Safety’s recent priority on clues. There has been only one cross-checking suspension this season: Ridly Greig of Ottawa was suspended for two preseason games for cross-checking Pierre-Luc Dubois of Winnipeg. Seven fines were issued, totaling $23,654.17.

Typically, the most severe suspensions over the past five seasons have been for head-related cross-checks.

It is a dangerous game. Matthews cross-checked Dahlin once, who responded by knocking him down without using his stick, then Matthews cross-checked him again on the side of the head. Matthews used all the leverage in his body to land a powerful blow.

In my opinion, I think this type of cross-checking – given the totality of the circumstances – deserves a three-game suspension. But I don’t know if there’s enough to support that, between Matthews’ blank rap sheet and the relatively light previous suspensions.

The verdict

Peel Verdict: 2 game suspension for Auston Matthews.


September 26, 2021: Ottawa’s Ridly Greig suspended 2 games for the Pierre-Luc Dubois overlap.

March 1, 2021: Alex Chiasson of Edmonton suspended 1 game for stalking Jimmy Vesey.

August 19, 2020: Philadelphia’s Matt Niskanen suspended 1 playoff game for recutting Brendan Gallagher.

November 23, 2019: Robert Bortuzzo of Saint-Louis suspended 4 games to recut Viktor Arvidsson.

April 13, 2019: Toronto’s Nazem Kadri suspended 5 playoff games for recutting Jake DeBrusk.

December 18, 2018: Jujhar Khaira of Edmonton suspended 2 games to recut Vince Dunn.

April 26, 2018: San Jose’s Evander Kane suspended 1 playoff game for the Pierre-Edouard Bellemare overlap.

April 17, 2018: Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey suspended 1 playoff game to cross Eric Staal.

Nov. 25, 2017: Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog suspended 4 games for recutting Matthew Tkachuk.

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