This site is normally all about the Florida Panthers as you know, however we do have the latitude to write about anything NHL related, and on this fine Friday morning I decided to cover an issue that came up during Wednesday night’s Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks game. An incident that has yet to reach it’s boiling point, but sometime today it could. Let me preface this by saying these two teams don’t like each other. At all. This hated, yes, hated rivalry goes back to the playoffs of 2009, and has continued each and every game since. Regular season, or post season, the venom in these matches fly from both sides. As does the chirping, complaining, whining and cheap shots. And let’s not forget diving, or acrobatic flailing.
The skuttlebutt that’s been discussed since Wednesday night’s tilt is how many games does Duncan Keith get suspended for after this hit on Daniel Sedin. As you watch the video there is no doubt that Keith and his elbow were high, and made connection with Sedin’s head. Sedin is now back home with a potential concussion, and was not in the lineup for last night’s game against Dallas, and is out indefinitely.
Keith who is not a repeat offender has a hearing today with Brendan Shanahan which initially was to be a phone hearing which would mean Keith could not be suspended for five games. However there is talk that the hearing may end up not being a phone hearing due to the posturing from Vancouver. What’s the right amount of sentencing for Keith? Three games maybe. Two possible, and likely. Did he lose control? Did he target Sedin’s head? When we watch the game in real time, things happen fast. On the ice, they happen significantly faster. Then when we’re able to watch replays in slow motion the situation magnifies and brings most of us to say “what was he thinking”? Puck Daddy has some insight to the situation from both sides.
As you know, I like physical hockey. You also know I like….I love the Chicago Blackhawks, and have a deep rooted dislike for the Vancouver Canucks. I could watch these two teams battle 82 times a year and never get tired of it. However I will agree that what Keith did wasn’t right, and that what Keith did was likely the result of a reaction that was a long time coming from this Blackhawks team. You will say that the two minute minor wasn’t enough and that he should also have been given a misconduct in addition to the two minutes. Mind you, Daniel did return for a shift immediately after the hit, but then was absent for the remainder of the game.
What’s lost in this among other things that happened in the game afterward was the officials missed a call earlier that probably would have prevented what Keith did. Watch this video and ask yourself the question “Why was there no call”? Both hits were dirty, and both deserved penalties. And both deserve suspensions. The biggest difference between these two plays is the following. Keith had no idea that Daniel was going to hit him high. Daniel knew full well that Keith was going to hit him, and could have potentially avoided the connection. The other difference is that Daniel actually finished a check. Illegally, but he finished one regardless.
The view from the Canucks side of things is dratically different as it always is. The Province. The author seems to think that the Hawks and Keith’s vicious hit has “lit a fire” among the Canucks. All that probably means is you can expect more shenanigans from Vancouver the next time they play Chicago.
We all have teams that we are loyal to and that we have respect for as an opponent. Then there are teams that we despise in every way imaginable. The lists for everyone vary, but biased or not, there is nothing that makes you hate the Blackhawks. Unless of course you are a Canuck fan. The Hawks are a fun, talented and very personable team that’s easy to get behind, especially if your team isn’t playing them. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Joel Quenneville all have extremely likeable personalities.
The Canucks on the other hand are a bunch of hooligans. They are a gang of cheap shot artists who attempt to use their misplaced goonery to send messages. Unfortunately each time they do this, smart teams like the Hawks are able to counter their misguided behavior with talent. Let’s face it, how can you honestly cheer for a team that pulls hair, bites fingers, and knees in the groin all night long? Their goaltender who seems to be losing his status as the greatest thing since timbits, has become a better actor than Julia Roberts. Or did I mean actress? Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, and Ryan Kessler are the leaders of this goonsquad that is among the most penalized teams in the league, that head coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t seem to be able to control. They refuse to fight. Not that I condone fighting, but it’s part of the game, and it’s how issues like this are typically settled. With fists……not elbows. I mean look at this. And they wonder why they get picked on? That type of reaction is absurd. An embarrassing.
It’s a known fact that when the Canucks feel they’re being intimidated they begin to whine. From the top down. It’s become so bad that it resonates all the way to their fans. It makes it virtually impossible to respect them. The posturing in the press about non calls, and illegal hits on them is disgusting to hear. The problem grows deeper than just the players however. The officials need to get a better control of the situation. Again, had the hit by Sedin on Keith which happened first, been called a penalty, I doubt that Keith retaliates. The officials therefore need to do a better job policing these and other similar situations before the second crime takes place. Then, the game can move on from this type of ignorant play.
The decision on Keith likely comes this afternoon. If he gets three Daniel deserves one. If Keith should somehow get five, then Daniel deserves three. There is no way Sedin’s infraction goes without some form of penalty. Both hits were dirty, and one provoked the other. Keith is not dirty, but Sedin obviously is soiled. Don’t think he should be completely innocent here.
In closing Keith’s action or rather reaction wasn’t right. However what Keith did was give the Blackhawks a significant psychological advantage for the next time these teams meet. The Hawks don’t complain, they just do. And they do it without whining.
That is why you can respect them.
Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.
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