According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will have a phone hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan on Friday regarding his elbow to the head of Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin.
The big news is that Shanahan’s conducting a phone hearing, because suspensions stemming from phone hearings can only be a maximum five games in length. That said, Shanahan did set a precedent earlier this year for issuing max suspensions via the ringer, giving Boston’s Brad Marchand the full-meal deal for his clip on Vancouver’s Sami Salo back in January.
— It’ll be interesting to see how the “retribution” angle comes into play. Henrik Sedin alleged Keith made comments about going after Daniel because Daniel had nailed him with a questionable hit earlier in the period. Some argue that makes Keith’s actions worse, others say it justifies them.
— Keith’s not a repeat offender…but he’s not exactly a saint, either. Check out the headshot he put on Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke back in 2009 — one that also happened to be retaliatory in nature (Cooke tagged Keith with a bad hit earlier in the game):
Doubtful it comes up in discussion or plays into Shanahan’s decision…but it’s out there.
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“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”