The Los Angeles Kings got a game back on the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night, but the NHL is going to be reviewing tape of the game for reasons other than enjoyment. In the second period of the Kings 3-1 win over the Blackhawks, Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith slashed the neck of Kings forward Jeff Carter with his stick.
Where the controversy arises is that while Keith was assessed a double minor for high sticking, Kings fans and Carter himself insist that Keith slashed the forward’s face on purpose.
To his credit, while it looked like Keith was getting into the face of Carter who was visibly shaken up on the play, the Blackhawks defenseman insists that all contact was accidental and that after the incident he was just trying to apologize to Carter.
Keith on high stick on Carter: “Just a little scuffle. It was an accident. I was glad to see that he came back.” #Blackhawks
— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) June 5, 2013
The video evidence backs this up as Keith went towards a sprawled out Carter after the play in a non-aggressive motion, but was violently held back by the line judge. What the NHL is looking at, according to NHL.com writer Dan Rosen, is whether or not Keith was so accidental about slashing Carter’s face with his stick and a possible suspension might result because of it.
Still, Keith is maintaining his innocence and is going above and beyond what hockey tough guys usually do to stay in front of any possible disciple resulting from a play.
“It was accidental,” Keith insisted, via Chicago Tribune writer Chris Kuc. “I wanted to give him a tap but not where I got him. I felt bad.”