Poor Jordin Tootoo.

Of all the guys for whom the referees could call off a goal when it was not warranted, they did it to Tootoo on Wednesday against the Wild.

The diminutive bulldog of a forward brings his lunch pail and hard hat to the rink, and his style of play dictates there may not be a lot of goals.

As expected, Red Wings fans took to him immediately, as if recognizing one of their own.

The improperly disallowed goal is more evidence Tootoo is far from a goon. His contributions as a regular skater, appearing in 29 of 30 games, are valued by his coach and team.

He started a game against the Stars on Jan. 29 by fighting Eric Nystrom at the opening faceoff and, later in the same period, fought Brenden Dillon.

Dillon is 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds. Tootoo is 5-9, 199.

After the game, coach Mike Babcock said Tootoo's role as a pugilist is valued, but the team misses his other attributes when he serves major penalties.

"I was expecting him to get on the forecheck," Babcock said. "But he took it upon himself to have a couple of bouts, and we don't mind that either."

Tootoo said fighting is less about winning the fights than affecting the game.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130322/OPINION03/303220325#ixzz2OHmfLrQC