Chicago’s veteran defenceman on Monday shifted three years of bad blood in the playoffs between the National Hockey League teams to the dressing room in a lively discussion with a female reporter from Vancouver following a 3-1 loss to the hometown Canucks.
The reporter, Karen Thomson from Team 1040 radio, questioned Keith about a two-handed stick swipe to the back of Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin in the second period after he extended the Canucks’ lead to 3-1.
“Oh, no. I don’t think there was,” Keith said when asked if a penalty went undetected on the play. “I think he [Sedin] scored a nice goal, and that’s what the ref saw. Maybe we should get you as a ref maybe, hey?”
Thomson went along with Keith and told him she couldn’t skate.
“Can’t play probably either, right?” the defenceman shot back. “But you’re thinking the game, like you know it? Yeah, see ya.”
While some may consider Keith’s demeaning and perhaps worthy of disciplinary action, there are reports that Thomson may have provoked Keith more than what can be taken from the exchange above.
"Hockey is an emotional game and things are often said in the heat of the moment. I think this is what happened last night," Thomson posted to her Twitter account. "I’ve moved on."
History of violence
As for Keith and Daniel Sedin, there is some history between the two players, and their teams.
Last March, the NHL suspended Keith five games for his flying elbow against the Canucks left-winger in a regular-season game.
The intense play between the teams dates back to at least March 2009 when a brawl broke out at Chicago’s United Center, featuring goalie-punching and hair-pulling. In that season’s playoffs, the Blackhawks won a second-round matchup in six games.
They did so again the following spring en route to their Stanley Cup victory over Philadelphia.
Vancouver got revenge in 2011, eliminating Chicago in the first round in a series that included a bone-crunching hit by the Blackhawks’ Dave Bolland on Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis and some feisty play between Bolland, Daniel Sedin and his brother Henrik.
Should the Western Conference standings remain the same through Saturday, Chicago would finish first and Vancouver third in this 48-game, lockout-shortened season, meaning the earliest they could meet in the post-season would be the conference finals.