Well, the 2014-2015 NHL season has come to a bittersweet end. Bitter, because there will be no more hockey until the Fall, but sweet, oh so sweet for many reasons only: The Chicago Blackhawks are the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions, and the Conn Smythe winner is Duncan “The Freak” Keith. Duncan Keith is known by many names, “Duncs, The Lion, and Ironman, and now, Mr. Playoffs”. But now he is known by a new name, Conn Smythe Winner.
Keith’s minutes were no secret with the ailing 3rd defensive pair, but then, something amazing happened. Kimmo Timonen regained a shard of his former self, him and Trevor Van Riemsdyk started clicking, so pressure was alleviated. The Hawks used Keith extensively, so much that Keith never seemed to leave the ice. Jowl Quenneville even called him “a freak” after the marathon-like minutes he logged through the Anaheim series. Now, Duncan Keith is credited with a Stanley Cup clinching goal, carving his name into the history books.
Keith had one of the most dominant playoff runs of any player, let alone defenseman. He had to deal with Roman Josi and Shea Weber, he had to deal with Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, and then he had to deal with a three headed monster of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler.
And you know what? He kept coming back for more.
Constantly the Hawks defensive pairings were questioned, and now, all that vanishes the second they hoisted that giant silver Cup. Keith is not new to the awards scene, he’s now a three-time Stanley Cup Champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, and now, he adds another notch to the gun belt with the Conn Smythe trophy.
Unlike 2013’s Conn Smythe presentation, this one had a little less surprise and controversy, many remember when Patrick Kane was named Conn Smythe when most thought it should have been Corey Crawford. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind who its should have been. Forget “the hits”, forget a media-razed third defensive pairing, forget everything. Duncan Keith didn’t cement his legacy, he carved it in stone, to be remembered, his name and number will no doubt be up in the rafters when his time in the league is due to be up.
Duncan Keith, you are the definition of a true champion, I thank you, our staff thanks you, the fans thank you, and an entire city of nearly three million people thank you.
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