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Logan Couture names Duncan Keith one of the toughest defensemen in the NHL

Also, Jonathan Toews made the cut, somehow.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It's one thing to witness how tough someone is. It's even one thing to talk about how you, yourself, define toughness. But it's another thing entirely to be on the receiving end of that.

Duncan Keith says he knows what toughness is. It would appear that Logan Couture, who has to frequently go up against him, would agree.

Couture submitted a list to The Players' Tribune on just who he thinks are the toughest defensemen in the NHL are, and of course, Keith made the cut. He has rather high praise for him, too:

Big, bruising defensemen in the mold of Chris Pronger are kind of a dying breed because of how fast the game is now and how the rules have changed. Those guys just have a hard time keeping up. In today’s game, the best defensemen are smart and disciplined, and can skate stride-for-stride with the forwards. Keith checks all those boxes. He can contain you just by having quick feet and sticking right with you, freezing you out of the play.

He also has praise for his partner, Brent Seabrook, and how well he and Keith work together.

Couture's appreciation for the players on the Chicago Blackhawks doesn't end there, though. Rather than talking about five defensemen, he opted to talk about four, and then two two-way centers: one of whom is Jonathan Toews. Toews is that good defensively, Couture throws praise his way in a piece about defensemen.

With Toews specifically, he’s one of the most tenacious players I’ve ever seen. He’s just all over the puck, constantly. He’ll never give you much space. He’s always shadowing you very close, and he’s not afraid to be physical. He’ll also give you a shot when the ref’s not looking.

With players like these guys, is it any wonder the Hawks have been one of the top teams in the NHL?