Chicago Blackhawks Lose Top Defenseman To Suspension

Carter After Taking A Stick To The Mouth

Kings injured forward Jeff Carter
Kings injured forward Jeff Carter | Source

Duncan Keith Suspended 1 Game

Duncan Keith will be sitting in the press box as his Chicago Blackhawks enter game 4 in LA. After a ruling from the as usual inconsistent Brendan Shanahan, the Chicago Blackhawks will be without Keith for 1 game after Keith retaliated from a couple cheap shots from Kings Jeff Carter. The play all started back by the Hawks net and Carter taking a cross check on Keith as well as some other shots up the ice, Carter then tried to slash Keith in the bare hand after Keith has dropped his glove in the scrum and was bending over to pick it up. Keith still had one hand on his stick and looked like he wanted to give a slash to the ribs or arm area but ended up right on the chin of Carter, Keith was clearly sorry as he immediately said he was sorry as Carter picked him self up off the ice, He then attempted again later in the game to apologize. To me trying to say he was sorry once was good enough, If Carter successfully slashes Keiths hand and breaks anything I seriously don’t he would have been saying his apologies to Keith but I digress.

The Blackhawks now have to find a way to replace the top defenseman and even though it will be only for 1 game, it is a very important game. Either Chicago goes up 3-1 in the series and has all the control going into the United Center or it’s all tied up at 2-2 and is a series that would then be up for grabs. The options that the Hawks have are to go with Sheldon Brookbank who has been trading skating time with Micheal Rozsival during the regular season. Personally the only way I am letting Brookbank into the series is if he brings that nasty physical play that he became known for in his 3 years in the Ducks organization. I am not sure about his physical or mental state after being demoted to the minors this year but Steve Montador might also be an option although many Hawks fans probably do not want to see Monty in a Hawks jersey ever again.Now these next options would have to be with the total confidence from the Hawks staff because the rest of the Defense is kids from the AHL that spent the year in Rockford. The two standout options would have to be Ryan Stanton and Adam Clendening. The better and more touted option for the Hawks is Clendening, Here is a young player that has been getting praised by the Hawks and Rockford management this past season.In fact he was considered to stand out as a potential open night roster player to start this shortened season. He also would be the closest style of player that matches the loss of Keith’s Offensive Defenseman role.


Captain Serious Can Lead The Way

Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews
Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews | Source

Who WIll Step Up ?

There are no excuses for this Chicago team as the Kings have had there share of injuries that they are fighting through and Mike Richards has also missed the last 2 games with what is being rumored as a concussion, he seems like a player that could very well miss the rest of this series.On a positive side of things for Chicago, They did not play all that well in game 3 and the Kings had their best performance of the series and the Hawks still came very close to tieing it up and potentially winning it. If the Hawks step up their game even a little bit then they should take Game 4 and take control back in this series. The Hawks looked very slow and should look to get back to their up tempo fast style of play that LA had so much trouble with in the first 2 games in Chicago. Although the Kings were able to take game 3 and may very well take game 4 with how confident they are at home, I still believe there is no way that the Hawks do not win this series, Home ice advantage is a key in many series and I believe that it may be the deciding factor if this series goes the distance because the Kings are just horrible on the road this year and only have managed 1 win on the road through 2 1/2 rounds of playoffs hockey.

Thursday’s game 4 should be an interesting one but my prediction is a 4-2 win for the Hawks when it is all said and done. The Hawks need to wrap up this series as quickly as they can because it looks like the Bruins are going to make quick work of the Pens after a double OT win that puts them up in the series 3-0. Neither the Kings or Hawks want to face a well rested Bruins team after having to potential go to a game 7 for a second time. That is all for now and Let’s Go Hawks !

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