Recommitted Duncan Keith still elite
The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman is still a legitimate Norris Trophy candidate
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.
"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.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Canes captain Staal has core muscle surgery
- King, L.A. agree to 3-year, $5.85 million deal
- Habs add Lacroix, Ramage to coaching staff
- Wild re-sign winger Fontaine to 2-year deal