What the hell's wrong with Duncan Keith?
Keith, a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, is just about the best player in the NHL. He's led the team to three NHL Stanley Cup Championships, and last year was given the Conn Smythe Award as the league's most valuable player during the playoffs.
Along with the accolades, Keith's got a nasty streak of violence, with a penchant for using his stick as a weapon. That's a no-no in hockey... and society. Some of what Keith does looks less like hockey toughness, and more like an act of war.
Last night brought another example, as Keith took a stick swipe at Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle. Midway through the first period, the two players were scrapping for the puck against the boards, when Coyle used a shove of his fist to dump Keith on the ice.
Keith responded by slashing his stick through the air and landing it right on Coyle's nose.
The sick play split Coyle's nose right open, and got Keith ejected for the rest of the game. He'll face a serious suspension for the swipe; as was noted on Twitter, this is not his first deliberate stick-swinging-to-the-face incident.
If only there were some sort of evidence that Duncan Keith likes to swing his stick at the faces of opponents pic.twitter.com/M3O2h4oTe2
The Wild were able to get their revenge in two ways against the Blackhawks, their hated rivals of recent years. (Chicago has eliminated Minnesota from three straight Stanley Cup Playoffs.)
First, the Wild's Matthew Dumba dropped the gloves with Chicago's Andrew Shaw. Watch for how obviously prearranged this fight was. Both players just kind of coast into place and shed their gloves in a single smooth motion.
Also, Duncan Keith: Note how both guys dropped their sticks and used their fists.
It was well-fought, but we're giving this one to Dumba for a late flurry, perhaps propelled by the sight of his teammate's busted-up face.
As for the hockey action that did not result in penalties, the Wild won 4-1, completing a season sweep of the Blackhawks. The win puts Minnesota five points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche in the race for the last playoff wild-card spot with five games left in the regular season.
Correction: This post originally referred to the Conn Smythe Award going to the league's most valuable player. It is awarded to the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP.