Playoff Watch Thread; Duncan Keith Suspension Poll

"Wait! I can explain! I only meant to injure, not to maim!" - Harry How

Since the Penguins aren't making the Eastern conference final a series, maybe the Kings will out West.

The Blackhawks and Kings face off in Game 4, with Los Angeles having a chance to make this a great series if they can keep their home playoff record unblemished.

To their advantage, the Kings won't have to face Duncan Keith, who was suspended one game for his injurious high stick to Jeff Carter's face in Game 3.

For me, a suspension of some sort was a must. It doesn't matter that he "didn't mean" to hit Carter in the face. He did. He used his stick as a weapon -- somehow we tend to forget that this act, no matter what it's result, is illegal -- and it resulted in dangerous injury that could have been worse.

Doesn't matter that hockey players routinely play through 20 stitches and broken teeth: Those are still real injuries.

Forget even that a few inches higher and Carter is dealing with an eye injury instead of a lisp.

It's comical, really, that an inadvertent high stick that draws a little lip blood gets four minutes due to that magical appearance of blood, while Keith's retaliatory high stick received the same. If the refs really wanted to adjudicate the situation with some situational justice, they should have given Keith five minutes and Carter two (or even four) for his preceding illegal but far less serious stickwork.

When people start to situationally rationalize stick fouls meant to harm, I get deja vu about how the obstruction standard got so weak in the '90s: ("Aww, you're allowed to hook a guy trying to get by you." No! No, hooking is illegal!)

Hockey provides this awesome avenue to deliver physical harm and intimidation to one's opponent; it's called the body check. Baseball and basketball and soccer do not have it. It's a beautiful thing and it requires skill. It also provides a great legal case for not using your stick as a weapon, because any lazy unskilled wench can use a stick as a weapon.

Regardless, Keith sits for one. A necessary step if we're to take NHL supplementary discipline seriously.

Have a vote or a comment on the suspension? Leave it here in the evening playoff watch thread.

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