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Crimson-JH

Duncan Keith's Back In The Line Up...

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From NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks have a couple of injured players who may or may not be ready to return on Thursday in Minnesota, but one of them isn't star defenseman Duncan Keith.

Keith's return from a five-game suspension against the Wild is a sure thing after sitting out for elbowing Vancouver's Daniel Sedin in the head during Chicago's 2-1 overtime win on March 21 at the United Center.

"It's been awhile, five games, but it's gone by quick, too," Keith said after Tuesday's practice. "I'm looking forward to getting back and helping the team here in the last couple games and the playoffs."

Quenneville said that Keith will slide back into his usual spot on the top pairing with Brent Seabrook, while Niklas Hjalmarsson will likely go back to the third pair with rookie Dylan Olsen after playing well in Keith's absence.

"It was tough," Keith said of sitting out. "Obviously you want to be out there playing and helping the guys. They did a great job and played well. We've been playing well for a long time now, I think. I just want to help out and keep it going."

Keith declined to comment on Sedin's condition -- which is said to be concussion-related -- or about the incident itself.

Chicago went 2-1-2 in the games Keith missed, but it might turn out to actually help the speedy, puck-moving defenseman for the playoffs. Keith, the 2010 Norris Trophy winner, usually logs the most minutes in the League each season and is again right at the top at 26:53 -- behind only former Hawks teammate Brian Campbell (26:55).

It was suggested that fatigue from all that skating might've caught up with Keith last season and even stretching into this one, but he's always denied it. However, Keith didn't downplay the potential importance of the time off he just received -- which, per the current collective bargaining agreement, also cost him $149,688.15 in foreited salary to the Player's Emergency Assistance Fund.

"I don't think taking a suspension is ever a good thing, but you know, I think if you're looking at it and trying to look for the positives ... I guess getting some rest at this time of year would probably be beneficial in that regard," Keith said. "I didn't feel like I needed rest. I've been able to play a lot of games every year, so I don't feel that's a reason or anything why I need rest. I feel good and I feel stronger than I was before, so hopefully it pays off."

Meanwhile, he had quite a bit of unexpected down time the past couple weeks. What did Keith do with it all?

"I just worked out and not a whole lot (else)," he said. "I walked the dogs a lot."

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Frack Keith, we all knew that at the end of it he'd 'find the positives' of this suspension right before the playoffs. I wonder if he contacted Daniel? I can't remember what player of what team it was ...upset about not recieving a text message or something?

They were showing the replay of the elbow on TSN when they were talking about Daniel couple days ago, frack, had forgotten how brutal it was.

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When a player gets suspended, he should not only be suspended for the next X amount of games, but also be suspended for the same amount of games against the team in which he incurred the penalty...5 games for Keith, but he should also be suspended for the next 5 games against Vancouver, playoffs or not...Would he have given that elbow if it would cost him 5 games in a playoff series? Not being a homer here, I always thought it was unfair to the team losing a player and the next time the two teams play the suspended player is back in the line-up...

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i watched a kid i grew up with die on the football [aussie rules ]field due to the actions of a player whose only intent was to hurt /injure him , i believe keith should have paid a far higher price for his actions , not because i am a canucks fan , but because i have seen the worst possible outcome when the persons intent is only to hurt /injure .

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