Recommitted Duncan Keith still elite
The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman is still a legitimate Norris Trophy candidate
- Bill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesAfter admitting focus was an issue last season, Duncan Keith is ready for a fresh start.
The season before, he set career highs in goals (14), assists (55) and points (69) and won Olympic gold, a Stanley Cup and a Norris Trophy. But in 2010-11, the Manitoba native fell well short of those expectations.
Keith posted 24 fewer points, had a negative plus/minus (minus-1) for the first time since his rookie season, and acknowledged that after the euphoria of winning the Cup wore off, it was difficult to repeat the previous season's effort.Illustration by Neil GreenbergRanking of NHL's top defensemen in the last three seasons.
"This year for me was frustrating," Keith told ESPN Chicago back in April. "I felt like I had really good stretches and then there were times where -- I don't want to say lost focus -- but not really as interested for whatever reason."
The decline in Keith's play from the previous season echoed Chicago's tumble from Stanley Cup champion to a team that barely made the playoffs.
Keith looked like the best defenseman in hockey on only a few occasions, and the Blackhawks need him to revert to his '09-10 form if they wish to return to being Cup contenders. But can Keith once again be the league's best defenseman for a second time in three seasons? It sure seems that way.
To read the full story on Duncan Keith and see why he is still a legitimate Norris Trophy contender, you must be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Stars honor Cup hero Modano, retire jersey
- Caps score 3 times in 3rd, rally past Coyotes
- Lupul nets OT winner as Leafs defeat Flyers
- Smith lifts Bruins past Lightning in shootout
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Zephyr Men's Chicago Blackhawks Lift Red Long Knit Hat
- NHL Home
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus B. Jackets
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs