Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks will no doubt be suspended for his beyond wreckless one handed slash to the face of Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle.
This should be one of the easiest decisions the NHL Department of Player Safety will ever have to make, and that scares me.
Keith was upset at being knocked over by Coyle. As he was laying on the ice, he looked up, slammed his stick into the side of Coyle’s face, and actually watched to make sure he connected. Only then did he start to roll over and look away. Any story of it being momentum from him trying to get up is negated by the video evidence.
Keith got a match penalty for intent to injure, and it’s the right call. The damage this kind of play could have caused has got to be considered of absolute extreme seriousness (loss of eye, loss of many teeth, broken jaw, cheek or nose, concussion, death). There’s no way an offender could possibly assume any prediction of the outcome of this move. He has zero control over the consequences.
That’s what the league needs to keep in mind when making the decision. I’m getting tired of saying it, but this even by itself is NOT a two gamer. What’s worse, Keith is a repeat offender, having not too long ago carved the face of Jeff Carter of Los Angeles in the playoffs.
Insert plea for minimum 6-8 games here.