Chicago Blackhawks' Keith still looking for a goal
"He shoots, he scores!!!"
It has been a long, long time since an announcer has screamed those four words after a puck flew off the stick of Duncan Keith and past an opposing goaltender.
Forty-four games, to be exact. The Blackhawks' defenseman knows the rut he's in and would love to break out of it soon.
"Well, I'm no different. I know I'm not a forward, but obviously I want to score," Keith said.
It's not like Keith isn't trying. He has 72 shots on goal, 7 of which came at Washington last week.
This is the second straight season Keith has gone past Game 30 without denting the net. It took him until the 34th game in 2016-17 before he finally scored, and he went on to score five more times. The only time Keith went longer before scoring his first goal came in his second season when he finally scored in Game 48.
"I don't think you ever want to get frustrated to the point where it affects your game," said Keith, who averages 8 goals per season and had a career-high 14 in 2009-10. "That's all part of the game that we play and dealing with those type of emotions. I've been good at being able to harness those type of things and try to stick with it and focus on doing what I can.
"It starts with being good defensively. But certainly part of my game is … making good passes and helping our team generate some offense. Part of that is chipping in with the odd goal."
Jan Rutta and Gustav Forsling lead Blackhawks D-men with 3 goals each. The blue liners have 9 goals in all.
Long time coming:
Jordan Oesterle hadn't played in a game in almost a month, but he certainly stood out during the Hawks' 3-1 victory over Arizona on Sunday at the United Center. The Hawks' young defenseman took 7 total shots (4 on goal), blocked 3 shots and assisted on Tommy Wingels' goal at 7:36 of the third period.
"Thought he had a great game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He was up in the play, he had a real good gap, real good stick. Controlled a lot of plays (and) positioned himself real well."
Oesterle's last appearance came Nov. 12 against New Jersey. He played for Cody Franson, who is out with an upper-body injury. Slap shots:
Brent Seabrook had an assist, a season-high 5 shots on goal and added 4 hits during Sunday's game. … Vinnie Hinostroza has 15 shots (9 on goal) in his first two games back with the Hawks. … Gustav Forsling broke Eric Daze's team record for latest overtime goal in the five-minute OT era by one second when he scored at 4:55 against Buffalo on Friday. Five-minute OT has been played since 1983-84.