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High stick will likely lead to suspension for Duncan Keith
- Updated: March 30, 2016
The question isn’t so much if Duncan Keith will be suspended for a high stick to the face of Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle, rather how long he will be suspended for.
And the answer to that question could see the Blackhawks defenseman benched until well into the playoffs.
The incident in question came midway through the first period in last night’s contest between the Blackhawks and Wild when Coyle checked Keith to the ice. Keith then swung his stick around and caught Coyle in the face, hitting him on the nose just below his left eye. Coyle skated to the bench with blood dripping from the bridge of his nose while Keith was assessed a match penalty, which comes with an ejection and an automatic suspension pending a league review.
Luckily, Coyle didn’t suffer any broken bones or serious injury from the incident.
“I was stunned that it happened,” Coyle said. “You don’t expect that, ever, in a game.’’
Keith was offered an in-person hearing by the league at their offices in New York. The NHL only offers in-person hearings when the suspension could be six or more games.
The Blackhawks have fine games remaining in the regular season.
‘’No matter what happens in a game, you shouldn’t swing your stick at someone’s face like that,” said Coyle. “That goes from when you were a Mite. Keep your stick on the ice, right? So obviously there is no room for that. And I’m sure (Keith) wants to take it back. Heat of the moment thing. That’s how it happened.’’
Check out video of the incident below.