Duncan Keith admitted Friday it has been a trying and inconsistent season for him.

The Vancouver Canucks probably just wish he wasn't taking all of his frustrations out on them.

Keith has been far and away the Blackhawks' best player in their first-round series against the

Canucks — with four goals and two assists in the last three games — as they have clawed their way back into contention.

"He's just playing his best hockey," Jonathan Toews said Friday. "We were just saying it's been awhile since we've seen him play that well.

"He was all over the place [in Game 5]. There wasn't anything he wasn't doing [Thursday]. He was getting into the mix after the whistles. .??.??. He's been deadly with his shot from the point, and whether it's on the power play or penalty kill, he's our top guy right now."

Keith's re-emergence has come when it was most needed, with

defense partner and friend Brent Seabrook (concussion) unable to play the last two games after he was struck in the head by a blindside hit from the Canucks' Raffi Torres in Game 3.

''It's the playoffs, and we all need to play our best,'' Keith said. ''I'm just trying to do that.''

Keith said he and his teammates are having the most fun they've had this season, which has helped. This season hasn't been the kind of follow-up campaign he would have hoped for after winning the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) last

season.