Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/05/13 at 01:28 AM ET
Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter received some stitches and dental work thanks to a high stick from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, but Keith inisted to USA Today's Kevin Allen that his handwork doesn't deserve supplemental discipline...Because it was an accident:
"It's retaliation with a stick," he said. "It's not a high stick. Whatever they want to call it, they'll call it. Don't even need video."
Keith seemed more concerned about Carter than he did about the penalty.
"It was accidental," Keith said. "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."
Whether the league will consider Keith's apology and penalty good enough -- or whether it dishes out more punishment -- remains to be seen.
"I have no idea," he said when asked if he thinks he will be suspended. "I said it was an accident."
Update: ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that the hit's under review by the NHL's department of player safety, and Kings coach Darryl Sutter saw the slash-to-the-face differently:
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter felt the four-minute penalty wasn’t enough, hinting that a match penalty would have been more appropriate.
“I didn't think it was a four-minute penalty. Thought it was a wrong call,” Sutter said.
“Retaliation,” he added. "That's three head injuries now in the playoffs for us. I don't know how to answer it. It's retaliation with a stick. It's not a high stick. Whatever they want to call it, they'll call it. Don't even need video.”
Those comments were echoed by Kings captain Dustin Brown.
“Not a normal high-stick I don’t think,” Brown said. “I asked the ref. He only had one hand on his stick, but it’s one of those things where it’s not a four-minute (penalty) in the course of a play where you lift a stick or get a stick up on a guy. Probably Keith was a little frustrated and swung his stick and hit Carts in the face.”
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