Chicago Sun-Times

Bad skates appear to have slowed Keith

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keith.jpgBlackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith isn't one to make excuses for his recent sub-par play. But he is having an issue with his skates -- one that hasn't been resolved for some time.

"It was just one of those things you deal with sometimes during a season," Keith said Monday after practice at the United Center. "It hasn't happened in a while, but I like my skates to fit right and feel good. When you feel good out there you play good. It's been a while since I've had a good pair."

Keith's abilities to skate and move quickly are his biggest assets, and he knows it. So feeling comfortable in his skates is crucial for Keith, a candidate for the Norris Trophy as one of the NHL's best defensemen.

Keith said he usually goes through three or four pairs of skates a season, but this season, he has surpassed that number.

"If their good skates not too many, but this year I've been through about nine or 10 already," he said.

It's not unheard of for players to have concerns or issues regarding their equipment during a season. But Keith has been having his since the Olympics. He is a minus-7 in 13 games after being one of Canada's best blue-liners in its gold-medal run.

"They're trying to make the same ones they made from games one to 60," Keith said. "It seems like since the Olympics, it's just been a battle. That stuff is going to happen. You can't make every skate the same way. Every skate is going to be different. Guys deal with different things with their sticks."

Keith, though, would never use what's on his feet or any other piece of equipment as an excuse.

"There's no excuses or there's no reasons for anything other than I need to be my best and that's the bottom line," Keith said. "It's not because of skates or sticks or anything like that."

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on March 29, 2010 4:37 PM.

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