Tha Sports Junkies 101

ICYMI: Blackhawks’ Keith Suspend for Six Games

Defenseman to Miss Rest of Season, First Playoff Game


NEW YORK-The Chicago Blackhawks are having an interesting end to their regular season. They’ve already clinched a playoff spot, but are still trying to hang on to third place in the Central Division. Their play also hasn’t been great, as they are 4-5-1 in the last 10 games. Friday, they learned they will have to get through the rest of the season without, most arguably, their best blue liner.

Defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended for six games for his high-stick to the face of Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle on Tuesday.

The incident happened less than 10 minutes into the game. With the puck in the Minnesota zone, Coyle and Keith were fighting for possession along the left wing boards. As the battle forced the puck up the boards and eventually out of the zone, Keith’s left leg got tangled up with Wild defenseman Marco Scandella‘s right leg.

That tangle put Keith off balance. As he was losing his balance, Coyle shoved the Chicago d-man, causing him to fall on his back. While on his back, and clearly not happy with Coyle, Keith intentionally swung his stick and hit the Minnesota forward in the face.

The 32-year-old Winnipeg native was given a match penalty, which meant he would be ejected from the game and automatically receive a one-game suspension. The league offered Keith an in-person hearing, but he declined it on Thursday.

The suspension means Keith will miss Chicago’s last five games of the regular season, plus their first playoff game. The silver lining for the Blackhawks is they are already assured a playoff spot and Keith won’t miss most of their first round series. However, it will still hurt Chicago a bit in these final five games of the season to not have their top defenseman.

Photo Credit: Sarah A./via