Keith got hit in the mouth by the puck Sunday as the Hawks clinched a spot in the NHL finals with a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at the United Center. As he skated off the ice to the bench, he felt teeth falling out. He lost a total of seven.
"I felt a chunk of some tooth," Keith said. "Teeth were falling out as I skated off. I coughed one up.
"It sounds gross and bad, but it happens all the time to guys. Probably could have been a lot worse if I got hit in the jaw more."
Keith, an Olympian and Norris Trophy finalist, said he wanted to get back on the ice as quickly as possible. He missed only about 6½ minutes.
"I just wanted to get out there as quick as I can, and the trainers and dentists and doctors did a good job," Keith said. "Honestly, I was fine. You get hit in the teeth, obviously it hurts the gums, but it's not like you got your jaw smashed in or anything like that.
"It's tougher talking, but it's not as bad as you think it is."
Keith remembered the shot from Sharks center Patrick Marleau.
"I went to try to keep the puck in, and Marleau turned and fired," he said. "Unlucky play, and I knew right away my teeth were smashed in. I tried to get back to the bench as quick as I can. I was down in the room right away.
"I had seven needles in my mouth. It's all frozen right now. Just a bunch of needles in my jaw, gums to freeze it up. Might need some more soon, because it's starting to wear off. I can feel it."
Keith said two of the teeth knocked out were fake, "so hopefully I can get some nice teeth now."
"He created the whole play, taking the big hit to set it up. And he's skating around before the power play, telling us what to do, but he's mumbling. I don't think anyone understood what he was talking about. But he's one of our leaders."