Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sent San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton crashing face-first to the ice along the boards in the corner in the first period Friday.
But that wasn’t enough for Toews. He shoved Thornton in the back as he got up. Then he did it again. And again.
Then Toews, who has a history with Thornton dating beyond
Thornton’s rabbit punch last
Feb. 10 in San Jose, Calif., followed him to the opposite corner and shoved him in the chest. Then he did it again. And again. Seven times in all, blatantly goading Thornton to drop the gloves, which he finally did in one of the NHL’s more star-studded fights in recent memory.
And because these are the Hawks and this is 2013, when it seems they can do no wrong, it all worked out just fine.
The Hawks killed off the double-minor assessed to Toews on top of the fighting major, then quickly scored, then went on to beat the Sharks 4-1 to extend their point streak to 14 games (11-0-3), two off the record to start a season.
‘‘I felt it was something I needed to do to stand up for myself,’’ Toews said. ‘‘I did it, and I’m glad I did it.’’
Toews was fortunate to get away with just a boarding minor and an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for fighting with a visor on. He could have — and probably should have — received an instigator penalty, which carries with it a 10-minute misconduct. Instead, the Hawks gained momentum off the fight, as Dave Bolland put in the
rebound of his own shot at 19:16 of the first, during 4-on-4 action at the tail end of Toews’ double-minor.
Captain Jonathan Toews’ fight gets Hawks going as start reaches 11-0-3
Chicago Sun-Times | Feb 16