Duncan Keith was on another planet in these playoffs. The deeper the Hawks went into the playoffs, the better Keith became. He was a key contributor not only defensively, but offensively too.
I think it is pretty safe to say that Duncan Keith is the best defenseman and possibly the best player in the NHL right now. There have often been debates on who is the NHL’s top defenseman, whether it was Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, PK Subban, etc. Keith was always in the conversation and he made it clear that he was the best defenseman.
With the addition of his Conn Smythe trophy, Keith also has two Norris trophies, making him the 5th defenseman in NHL history to win these awards; he joins elite company including Nicklas Lidstrom, Bobby Orr, Larry Robinson and Brian Leetch. Keith is also the only player in NHL history to win three Stanley Cups, two Olympic Golds, two Norris trophies and a Conn Smythe. I don’t think there was any doubt about him winning the Conn Smythe, out of 17 voters, all of them chose Duncan Keith to win the trophy, making it a unanimous decision. He became the 9th defenseman to win the Conn Smythe trophy along with Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Leetch, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Bobby Orr.
“It feels so great,” Keith said. “You want to keep being a part of these things. You don’t get these awards without being on great teams with great players, and I’m just proud to be a part of this group of guys who cares so much and do whatever it takes.”
He was an absolute monster the entire postseason, averaging around 30 minutes of ice time per game and surpassing the 700 minute mark during the playoffs (715:37); making him the 4th defenseman in NHL history to do so along with Drew Doughty, Chris Pronger and Nicklas Lidstrom. Keith had 3 goals (all game winning goals) and 21 points during his playoff run, the 2nd best point producing defenseman was Victor Hedman, who notched 14 points. This just illustrates how dominant Duncan Keith really is. Not only could he be a force on offense, but he made a great number of defensive plays that could have ended up in the back of the net. Not all defenseman have the offensive and defensive awareness of Duncan Keith, which makes him such an incredible player.
With all the injuries on Chicago’s blue line, Keith stepped up his game big time and played big minutes. In the end, he was rewarded, as the Blackhawks won their 3rd Stanley Cup in 6 years; their first one on home ice since 1938.
Brandon Murphy – @2murphy8