The sight of Duncan Keith on Thursday night — shoulder pads still strapped on with a championship belt on his bench and a fallen partner's sweater hanging behind him — had everything to do with the sight of Duncan Keith on Sunday night.
Two long, arduous seasons in which he pulled along the Blackhawks defense like a work ox seemed to sap his energy. Then came the invigorating goal and emphatic fist-pump early in Game 3 versus the Canucks. By the end of the Hawks' 5-0 victory in Game 5 on Thursday night, three more scores had followed.
The guy who took a puck to the mouth during the run to the Stanley Cup once again is showing his teeth in the postseason.
"It feels good to score, obviously, but I felt I had some chances in Games 1 and 2," Keith said. "But definitely when you get back at the United Center, and the crowd is going, it gets the blood going."
Keith's plasma, at this point, is running like whitewater rapids. He has four goals in the last three games of this series, with two scores in Thursday's romp complemented by two assists for a career-high four points. All while blue-line partner Brent Seabrook remains sidelined after absorbing a Game 3 shoulder-to-head hit.
After Keith recorded zero points and was a minus-3 in the first two games of the series, the Hawks desperately needed their Norris Trophy winner to round into form. He obliged by dominating the action as much as anyone who laced up a skate the last two games.
"We're all trying to pick our game up and I'm part of that," Keith said. "Everybody has done a good job of picking their game up, and I'm no different in that regard."
Playoffs bringing out the best in Keith
Chicago Tribune | Apr 22