“Late in the second period of Game Three of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday night, an incident took place between Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings.”
You can almost hear it now, coming out of Brendan Shannahan’s mouth. The NHL’s top cop won’t be heading home early tonight, as he has a peculiar play to look over.
As the play was heading up-ice, Keith bent down to pick up his glove off the ice. As he reached his hand inside the glove, Carter, who was skating past him, slashed him in his exposed wrist. Keith then whacked Carter in the face with one hand on his stick, and #77 for the Kings dropped immediately at centre ice. Carter was cut, so Keith received a four minute penalty as Carter went to the dressing room, where he received stitches.
The question is all we are left with right now, and that is if Keith’s actions are deserving of supplemental discipline. There are some factors in the mix however, just besides that play at center ice.
1. Keith apologized. Sure, some say he’s like a little kid with his hand in the cookie jar, but that is not Duncan Keith’s style. It is easy to believe that he actually meant to be sorry, because he apologized as Carter laid on the ice just seconds after the play, and then after he returned to the ice during a TV timeout. Those factors would weigh in Keith’s favour. The next one, won’t.
2. Keith is considered a repeat offender. As non-bandwagon hopping fans will remember, Keith had a reckless elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin of the Canucks in March of last year, one that saw him miss 5 games. This play showed similarities to that play in the fact that it was surprising, unnecessary, and reckless.
If Shannahan and co. are on the verge of discipline for #2, the past suspension would tip the scales. No decision has been made yet, and this leaves Blackhawks fans sweating with the danger of losing a top defenseman for Game Four, and possibly more.
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