The Chicago Blackhawks suffered a tough loss on Friday night falling 5 - 2 to the Colorado Avalanche but the real story coming out of the game may be the one regarding the Blackhawks current injury woes. Injuries have begun to pile up for the Blackhawks at this stage of the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season and now the latest to fall to the injury bug is veteran defenseman Duncan Keith.
The injury to Keith is serious enough that the Blackhawks have already declared that Keith will not travel with the team today when they fly out to Colorado for their second game of a back to back series vs the Avalanche. It appears as though Keith is currently dealing with a groin injury, one that forced him to leave at almost exactly the midway point of Friday's game against the Avalanche, but there is some reason to believe that this has been a nagging injury for Keith this season. Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton hinted at the fact that Keith has been given extra rest in his attempts to deal with this ongoing issue, but it seems as though it may have finally caught up to him.
"Obviously we try to take care of it and at some point he just felt he couldn't play," Colliton said as per NBC Sports. "He's been playing a lot and it's a heavy schedule, so we've been trying to give him off days and optionals and what not. I'm not sure how serious it is... I'm not even sure exactly what the end diagnosis is going to be."
Unfortunately for Keith this injury will now force him to miss his very first game since all the way back in April of 2017, and that will also put an end to his impressive 189 game ironman streak. The Blackhawks have called up defenseman Ian McCoshen from the Rockford IceHogs to step in in Keith's absence but obviously losing a player with that much experience on the blue line is largely irreplaceable at this stage of the season.
"It's one of those things you're so used to having him on the back end doing what he does, it's almost like you take it for granted," Jonathan Toews said. "A lot of minutes he plays, what he does offensively and defensively, just how he makes the game easier on his own partner and everyone around him too. Hopefully he'll be back soon. Not used to being out there without a guy like him and definitely hurts a lot."
This will prove to be a true test for the Blackhawks organization in the coming days as now the depth of their lineup is truly going to be tested on both ends of the ice. Not only is the aforementioned Duncan Keith sidelined for the immediate future, but the Blackhawks have also lost both forwards Drake Caggiula and Dylan Strome to injury as well. Those two men are currently in the National Hockey League's concussion protocol and will also be absent for the second game against the Avalanche on Saturday.