Keith missing 7 teeth, but teammates don't miss shot at biting humor
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith lost seven teeth, but not his sense of humor.
Asked on Tuesday what became of the teeth knocked out by a puck to the mouth in Sunday's win over San Jose that sent the Hawks to the Stanley Cup Finals, Keith's response was as quick as his skating.
"The tooth fairy took them last night and left some money under the pillow," he said.
Keith, who made headlines across North America for continuing to play after the incident in the second period, spent several hours in the dentist's chair on Monday but was back on the ice for Tuesday's light practice.
Keith needs so much dental work done that he's putting it off until after the Stanley Cup Finals. He'll be on the ice for Game 1 on Saturday against Philadelphia with the same gaping hole in his mouth that we've seen in all the pictures taken Sunday.
Keith is able to eat - "I've still got some teeth in there on the side," he said - but is taking some brutal ribbing from his teammates.
"They say I look like a homeless guy or something," Keith said. "But what can you do? I'm not the only guy missing some teeth. I look a little rough around the edges, but it's all in good fun."
As defenseman Brian Campbell pointed out, "He's got to wait a little while to be pretty again."
Keith is talking with a lisp and defense partner Brent Seabrook said it was difficult to understand his teammate on the ice Sunday.
"I feel like I'm getting better talking now, but I think when it first happened I had some trouble learning how to talk with no teeth," Keith said. "I guess they had a little bit of trouble what I was trying to get across to them in the power play."
Keith actually feels lucky the puck hit him in the mouth and not somewhere else that could have fractured a bone and knocked him out of the lineup.
"In a lot of ways I was lucky that it hit my teeth," Keith said. "I didn't even get any stitches on my lip or anything. I saw the puck coming, but I didn't have any time to react, but I knew right away it wasn't good."
Keith missed only a handful of shifts and never even considered not staying in the game.
"Thinking about our team and my teammates, I think anybody would have done that and come back and played," Keith said. "We've got a lot of character in the room. I know they would have done the same thing.
"I guess you lose a lot of teeth and make the news, but it's not out of the ordinary when a hockey player loses his teeth."
Keith said the worst part of the last few days has been the shots from the dentist.
"I don't even know how many shots they gave me," he said. "That was probably the worst part about it, getting the needles in the gums and the roots.
"I'm going to be like this until the end of the season and then go in and hopefully get some nice teeth. I feel fine. I might not sound the same, but I'm fine and ready to play."