2013 NHL Playoffs: Should Duncan Keith Be Suspended for Slashing Jeff Carter?

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IJune 5, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04:  Referee Eric Furlatt #27 calls a high sticking penalty on Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks as Jeff Carter #77 of the Los Angeles Kings lays on the ice in the second period of Game Three of the Western Conference Final during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on June 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Blackhawks 3-1.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Duncan Keith’s slash on Jeff Carter has created a stir the hockey world, with many wondering whether or not the defenseman will be suspended.

The incident occurred midway through Game 3 of the Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings.

The play originated from a battle that occurred next to Corey Crawford after Carter tried to put the Kings up 3-0. Carter and Keith were engaged in a brief shoving match, which resulted in the Blackhawks defenseman losing both his stick and his left glove.

The two players then took off up ice, and as Keith reached down to pick his glove up, Carter skated by and gave it a whack with his stick. It appears as though Carter just missed making contact with Keith’s hand.

Keith immediately retaliated by swinging his stick at Carter, catching him in the face. Keith got a double minor for high sticking on the play. Carter went to the dressing room to get patched up and missed the power play, but returned to the ice shortly after.

Whether or not he intended to hit Carter in the face will be debated, although Keith claims it was an accident, according to The Canadian Press (via TSN.ca).

"Yeah, it was accidental. Obviously, I wanted to give him a tap, but not where I got him. I felt bad. I'm glad to see that he came back. It was just a scuffle. It was an accident."

However, regardless of his intent, Keith is responsible for his stick and shouldn't have got it up that high. After all, Carter is listed at 6'4".

To his credit, Keith appeared to be concerned and remorseful in the moments following the play, and he apologized to Carter after the L.A. forward returned to the ice.

Finally, there is Keith’s history to consider. He once received a five-game suspension for elbowing Daniel Sedin in the head on March 23, 2012. 

Will this be enough to suspend him? Or will the fact that Carter wasn't seriously hurt and returned to the game allow him to escape supplemental discipline?

Expect an announcement from the NHL sometime Wednesday, if it does in fact decide to suspend him.

Game 4 is set for Thursday, 9 p.m. ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the Kings will look to even the series.