Welcome Back: Blackhawks’ Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival will play Saturday
CHICAGO – Four-to-Six weeks? Not a chance for the Blackhawks’ iron man.
After missing ten games and a under a month of time after knee surgery, defenseman Duncan Keith will return to the team on Saturday night when they face the Blues in St. Louis. Joel Qunneville confirmed the news at the team’s practice Friday morning.
On top of that the Blackhawks will get Michael Rozsival back in the lineup as well after the defenseman missed the entire start of the 2015-2016 season after breaking his ankle against the Wild in the second round of the playoffs last season.
Keith underwent surgery on his knee on October 20th to repair a right knee meniscal tear and initially was ruled out 4-to-6 weeks. The defenseman would reveal that the injury occurred during the Stanley Cup Finals and that he hopes the injury would heal on its own.
Still Keith returned ahead of schedule and began skating with the Blackhawks last weekend. On Wednesday he went through his first full contact practice with the team and will return on Saturday night in St. Louis.
A mainstay in the defense for the Blackhawks, Keith has two assists in the team’s first six games before having knee surgery. The issue came as a surprise to many considering the defenseman was averaging 24 minutes of ice time in those games.
Since leaving the lineup the Blackhawks have been able to hold their own allowing 2.7 goals a game during Keith’s ten-game absence but there has been inconsistency in the defense. While the Blackhawks had a pair of shutouts in that stretch they also allowed four-or-more goals three times.
Rozsival, meanwhile, has had a much longer wait to return to the lineup. After suffering a gruesome ankle break in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals in Minnesota last May he’s taken most of the summer and early part of the season to recover.
With the Blackhawks since 2012, Rozsival scored a goal a had 15 assists in 65 regular season games in 2014-2015. He had an assist in ten playoff games before the injury against the Wild.