Duncan Keith can sound contrite all he wants, but the video evidence is damning.
First, the puck is nowhere near Daniel Sedin.
Second, Keith threw an elbow and targets Danny’s head.
Henrik on Keith threatening Daniel before hit: “You have to ask Keith. He’s a tough Canadian guy so I am sure he is going to be honest.”
More Henrik: “It’s one of those hits where things were said before from a certain guy and he did what he wanted to and that’s too bad…
More Henrik: “But again, they are the tough team over there and we’re the diving bunch so I guess there’s not much to say about that.”
Henrik on Daniel’s injury: “He didn’t continue playing and that’s usually when it’s bad because he likes to play hockey.”
Now, I don’t believe Keith is a dirty player. Far from it. However, this was still a dirty hit – a blatant head shot the kind of which the NHL has been trying to eliminate.
When you look around the league and see guys like Sidney Crosby and Nicklas Backstrom sitting out more than half a season because of head shots (and others like Jamie Benn who are victims of such but luckily escape serious injury), you have to question if the message is sinking in.
Or wonder if the NHL is really, seriously doing enough to deter them.
In tonight’s case, the price Keith paid for his transgression was a two-minute minor penalty. On the other hand, Danny, the Canucks’ leading scorer, is injured for an unknown amount of time. A two-minute minor penalty for that. That’s a hell of a deterrent, ain’t it? It’s up to Shanny now to determine if that’s sufficient.