Keith likely to face suspension for Sedin hit
CHICAGO -- Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith should expect a mini-vacation before the postseason begins. His elbow to the head of Vancouver Canucks’ forward Daniel Sedin in the first period of the Hawks' 2-1 overtime win Wednesday night is bound to incur supplemental discipline.
“I’m not trying to hurt anybody,” Keith explained after the game. “I hope he’s OK.”
As Sedin turned near away from the boards at center ice, Keith hit him with an elbow knocking him to the ice immediately. Sedin took a shift on the ensuing two-minute power play then left for the night.
“Deliberate, principal point of contact, everything you’re trying to take out of the game,” an angry Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “I expected a major, and I got a minor, so we’ll let the league deal with it. You saw the hit, you didn’t see a puck near the hit, you guys make the judgment call on that and the league will do what they have to do.”
Keith said several times he needed to see a replay of the hit before he could make a final assessment on it.
“It’s a fast game,” he said. “I’m not trying to hurt anyone. I haven’t seen the replay so I really can’t comment on it.”
Plenty of Canucks were just fine with commenting on it. One of their best players was knocked out of action, and it could be longer than just the rest of Wednesday’s game.
“I got a lot of respect for a lot of guys on their team,” Daniel’s brother Henrik told NHL.com. “There's been things said from their room before, but not from him. He's always been good, but I don't know if it was too [many] emotions playing against us or what it was. Again, it's too bad. I had a lot of respect for him."
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa said Keith wasn’t going to be a “Lady Byng candidate that’s for sure. You have to watch him a little closer.”
Even if Keith was responding to a cheap shot by Daniel on him from earlier in the period, the league won’t take that into consideration. The NHL can always punish Daniel as well, if it sees fit. As a first time offender Keith won’t get the book thrown at him, but he should be ready to sit for several games.
• Marcus Kruger left the game late in the first period with an upper body injury. Joel Quenneville said he would be re-evaluated on Thursday.
• The Hawks won just 40 percent of their faceoffs. Patrick Kane was 3-of-18 in the circle.
• Andrew Shaw has four goals during a three-game scoring streak, and seven points (4G, 3A) during his current four-game point streak.
• Patrick Kane tallied his 20th goal of the season. He’s the third player in franchise history to score 20 or more goals in each of his first five seasons in the NHL joining Jonathan Toews and Denis Savard.
• Over his last five appearances Corey Crawford has stopped 102 of 107 shots.
“I don’t think I’ve scored off my head yet but I’ll work on it,” -- Shaw, on his propensity to score goals off his body.
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