Duncan Keith is going to get a nice little vacation before and perhaps even extending into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman was ejected Tuesday night from a game against the Minnesota Wild after viciously hitting Wild forward Charlie Coyle in the face with his stick.
Keith received a five-minute major and a match penalty for high sticking at 9:27 of the first period, leaving his team in a bad spot for the rest of the game.
Coyle left the game but did return after the power play, which could ultimately benefit Keith. However, the Chicago defenseman does have a history. He was suspended one game during the 2013 playoffs for, coincidentally, slashing Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face and also was banned for five games in 2012 for elbowing Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in the face.
A match penalty carries with it an automatic indefinite suspension pending league review, and that history won’t help Keith’s case.
Chicago has just five regular-season games left.
UPDATE (2:25 p.m. ET): Keith will have an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, opening up the possibility of a six-plus-game suspension.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images