Most people look forward to vacations in the spring, but Duncan Keith’s cost him a lot of money. It also gave him something most players at the tail end of the season are probably looking for the most…. REST!! Back to work in Minnesota for Mr. Keith and the rest of his Chicago Blackhawks teammates tomorrow night.
Keith wasn’t as missed during his five game abscense as much as most people had feared. Granted it did give ice time to Sean O’Donnell which was difficult to watch. Hopefully we don’t have to see O’Donnell or Brendan Morrison for the rest of this season! The Hawks went 2-1-2 during the suspension and clinched their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. They have an extreme outside chance at the #4 or #5 seed, but look to be finishing in the #6 seed spot.
Other news is that Jonathan Toews has not missed a practice in a week now and has been cleared for contact. I personally wouldn’t want to see him on the ice until next week during the playoff opener, but if healthy and medically cleared I’m sure Toews and his teammates would like to see him kick off some rust before opening on the road for the playoffs.
The biggest fear as a Hawks fan is to see a repeat concussion to Towes that has plagued Sydney Crosby or closer to home Steve Montador. Montador didn’t even make it to a 2nd game before a hit to the head most likely finished off his season. Checking and fighting are a part of hockey, but the NHL must get a handle on the hits to the head especially to its stars. It cannot enjoy any kind of success unless its stars are on the ice and not getting concussion for needless head hunting hits. That is why even though it was his first offense I understand why Keith got 5 games, I just thing that the NHL needs to be more consistent when handing out the head shot suspensions.
Two more games and the its Stanley Cup Playoff action! Who, When, and Where the Hawks play probably won’t be decided until late Sunday, but its right around the corner. The Hawks may not be favored in every series they enter during these playoffs, but there aren’t any teams that would be decided favorites going into a 7 games series against a healthy and rested Blackhawk team. Nashville Predators are the team that has to worry the fans the most, but even without Towes and Keith they were beatable this past weekend! I can’t wait for next week, and the playoffs to begin!
LET’S Go HAWKS!!