Yeah, Duncan Keith probably earned himself a game suspension for his high-stick to the face of Jeff Carter. There’s no question it was a high stick. There’s no question he intentionally swung his stick in Carter’s direction. But. I think it’s pretty clear from the replay that they were picking at each other all the way up the ice, and Keith was intending a trivial but annoying slash in response to Carter’s trivial but annoying interference with Keith’s glove. And, as much as I hesitate to agree with anything a talking head says on TV, Brian Engblom (I think that’s who it was) is right. I believe it’s clear from Keith’s body language that his reaction was “ooh ****, sorry, I didn’t mean to do that.”
The rule is you have to keep control of your stick. (Thus, the penalty.) And the fact that Keith was attempting to do something that is illegal (a slash) but screwed up his aim and timing (oops, slash to the face) makes him more culpable that if he simply lost control of his stick. He wasn’t merely reckless. He was reckless in committing an intentionally illegal act (slashing).
No matter what, though, this strikes me as an utterly minor incident. The league may have to give him a game because — well, because it can’t condone reckless stick-swinging. But I can’t work up much animosity for Keith because of this.