Duncan Keith would prefer to live his life out of the spotlight, but that's exactly where the Blackhawks defenseman found himself on Friday.
Surrounded by reporters in hockey crazed Vancouver following the morning skate, Keith was repeatedly asked about the elbow he laid on Daniel Sedin last March that earned him a five-game suspension and knocked the Canucks' star out of the lineup for the last nine games of the regular season and first three games of the playoffs with a concussion.
“For the most part, I'm a pretty honest player,” Keith said. “I got suspended and was punished for that. It's not something I'm very proud of.”
Keith was booed every time he touched the puck in a 2-1 loss to the Canucks in a shootout at Rogers Arena.
Alex Edler's goal at 15:42 of the first period held up until midway through the third when Patrick Kane tied it.
The Canucks got the only goal in the shootout that lasted four rounds from Jordan Schroeder.
The Hawks (6-0-2) outshot the Canucks 28-22 through regulation but had difficulty solving goalie Roberto Luongo, who was making his third straight start.
Luongo stopped all four attempts by the Hawks in the shootout by Jonathan Toews, Kane, Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville continued to surprise with his choices in the shootout, this time going with Leddy in the fourth slot with the game on the line after Schroeder scored. Leddy missed the net on his first-ever shootout try.
“He's been doing it and been good at it in our (training camp) games and in Rockford,” Quenneville said. “He's deceiving and he's familiar with it as well. I felt he deserved a chance.”
The Hawks finished the game without Dave Bolland, who had to be helped to the dressing room 2:25 into the third period with what appeared to be a right leg injury. Bolland was chopped on the leg by Jannick Hansen.
“We'll know more (Saturday),” said Quenneville, who had no problem with the play.
Hawks general manager Stan Bowman had forgotten about the incident involving Keith and Sedin until he saw the Vancouver newspapers.
“Somebody made a comment about Dunc and I kind of brushed it off and then I saw the newspaper,” Bowman said. “It was on the front page of the paper here. They can make a big deal out of it, but we're not going to focus on that.”
For his part, Sedin took the high road as well even if some of his teammates didn't.
“I was more disappointed about what happened. I don't get angry that much,” Sedin said. “I still believe he's a good guy. I think when the rivalry gets that heated maybe players do things they shouldn't do. That was probably the case.”
Of course choirboy Kevin Bieksa had an opinion.
“Danny was the victim,” Bieksa told the Vancouver Province. “He was the one who got hit. Keith plays the way he plays. I wouldn't call him the cleanest player in the league.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.