Jonathan Toews wasn't going to be denied getting a piece of Joe Thornton.
The Blackhawks captain boarded his Sharks counterpart late in the first period and Toews then proceeded to shove Thornton seven times before the two finally dropped the gloves. The third fight in Toews' career didn't do much to bolster his pugilistic reputation, but it did fire up his teammates and the Hawks rode the wave of emotion Friday night to a 4-1 victory over the Sharks before a crowd of 21,824 at the United Center.
"I felt that it was something I needed to do to stand up for myself," Toews said afterward. "I'm glad I did it. I think it helped our team and we got the win so that's the important thing. If it gives your team energy, that's great. That's the effect … you're really trying to impose on your team."
Marcus Kruger and Niklas Hjalmarsson each had a goal and an assist, Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw scored and Ray Emery bested Antti Niemi in goal to extend the Hawks' points streak to start the season to 14 games. Duncan Keith and Jamal Mayers each added two assists as the Hawks improved to 11-0-3 and are now within two of the Ducks' NHL record of 16 games to start a season with at least one point set in 2006-07.
"A fight like that always fires up the team," said Hjalmarsson, who snapped a 49-game goalless drought with his third-period score, "We saw a real competitor. He's the heart of our team so it's obviously fun to see him getting real fired up and getting the team going.
Toews gives Hawks some fighting spirit
Chicago Tribune | Feb 16