Duncan Keith unhappy with ‘repeat offender’ tag
BY MARK LAZERUS email@example.com June 9, 2013 12:48AM
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five
Updated: July 10, 2013 6:57AM
Duncan Keith doesn’t think he’s a dirty player. But with two suspensions for illegal hits — an elbow to the head of the Vancouver Canucks’ Daniel Sedin last March and a high stick to the face of the Los Angeles Kings’ Jeff Carter in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final — the NHL has labeled him a “repeat offender.”
“I don’t feel good about having ‘repeat offender’ on there,” Keith said Saturday. “It was a play that obviously you’d like to have back. To me, it’s over with. I play as hard as I can every game. I play to win. And if you ask my teammates, they appreciate what I bring as far as competitiveness.”
Perhaps no one on the Hawks’ roster was happier to see the Game 4 victory than Keith, who didn’t want his one-game suspension to be a turning point in the series.
“I was happy, obviously,” Keith said.
“It was a huge win for the team. Played a great game.”
Keith said he tried to make the best of a bad situation, taking advantage of a surprise day off to rest up, eat right and make sure he had as much energy as possible for Game 5 and beyond.
But as a guy who has played all 82 games four times in his eight-year career, and who sat out only the season finale with the rest of the Hawks’ big names this year, it was a foreign feeling to watch the game from a distance.
“It’s tough to watch when you’re playing every game and then all of a sudden you’re watching on TV,” he said. “It was just a different feeling all together. Couldn’t really tell you, to be honest, if we were playing good or bad in the first period or not, or what was going on.”
Kings center Mike Richards — whom coach Darryl Sutter said was “50/50” to play after participating in the morning skate — was back in the lineup for Game 5. Richards missed the previous three games after taking a shoulder to the head on a hit by Hawks center Dave Bolland late in Game 1.
Richards had two goals and eight assists in 14 games before he was injured.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville shook up his lines during Game 4 and clearly liked the results, keeping Patrick Kane on the top line with Bryan Bickell and Jonathan Toews. Marian Hossa dropped to the second line with Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus. Kane and Hossa each scored after those combinations were made in