The 2015 Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith is going to have to be the team’s most reliable defensemen, as he has been through the highs and lows of the Blackhawks. He was on the three Stanley Cup-winning teams of the past decade, along with being on the poor teams that missed the playoffs.
Keith is another player that didn’t play his best against Nashville in 2017. As he gets older, this is one of his last chances to win in the playoffs. It’s a situation where losing isn’t an option for the older guys. I’m expecting a lot from Keith.
Keith might not be the most physically active as he once was, but he will bring a veteran leadership role to the younger players. It’ll help out guys like Adam Boqvist, who will be playing in their first playoff series this season.
Olli Maatta will be Keith’s biggest helper, as Maatta has won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins. The pieces are there on defense, these guys just need to stick together and find ways to help Crawford, along with winning.
The expectations for Keith need to be high and he needs to deliver. He’s had a decent season, scoring three times and assisting on 24 other goals for a total of 27 points.