Keith was given a 10-minute match penalty on the play and will have a word or two with the NHL’s department of player safety. Coyle spoke to reporters about the incident Wednesday.
Coyle was bleeding and appeared to have some alignment issues with his nose in the moments after Keith caught him with his stick. He confirmed that despite the gruesome scene, he did not suffer a broken nose.
“They said it wasn’t broken…sure looks like it though [laughing],” Coyle said.
Not surprisingly, Coyle stated that there’s no place in the game for the kind of stick work Keith laid upon him Tuesday.
“I was just stunned that it happened. You don’t expect that ever in a game.
“No matter what happens in a game you should never swing your stick at someone’s face like that. There’s no room for that and I’m sure he [Keith] wants to take that back. Heat of the moment thing…that’s how it happened,” Coyle told reporters.
Keith, lying on his back following a check from Coyle, swung his stick across the Wild forward’s face midway through the first period of the Wild’s 4-1 win. Coyle remained in the game.
Keith was offered an in-person hearing from the department of player safety. The two-time Norris Trophy winner’s status to begin the playoffs with the Blackhawks is in doubt as an in-person hearing signals that his suspension could exceed the five games Chicago has left on the regular season schedule.
Coyle has 21 goals and 42 points in 77 games this season.