If not for the black eye and fat lip on Jonathan Toews' face, Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp still might not believe his captain picked a fight with Sharks captain Joe Thornton during Friday night's victory at the United Center.
"Either that, or he's putting his girlfriend's makeup on to look like a tough guy." Sharp joked. "He's got a black eye, a fat lip -- it's a new look for him. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fight last night. It was entertaining. It's going to be funny to see him walking around with a black eye."
For Toews, it was no laughing matter. Thornton had been a thorn in his side for years, the agitation reaching a tipping point last Feb. 10, when Thornton rabbit-punched Toews a few games before he was sidelined with a concussion.
He reiterated Saturday that he was glad he fought Thornton.
"I'm not ever going to make anything personal like that, I know it's not," Toews said. "But when there is a lot of stuff going on, whether it's after the whistle, or during the game, I want to go out there and play my game. If I have someone on me all the time, I guess that's what I have to do -- just stand up for myself. That's all I was thinking about last night."
It was Toews' third career fight. It won't happen often, but he said he'll do it when he feels it's necessary.
"There are times where you have to assert yourself and stand up for yourself," he said. "I think that's all it was. You're not going to see me do that very often, and I haven't in my career, but it is part of the game. You want to buy your time and space and your respect out on the ice. That's something you have to do to prove you deserve it, I guess."
Patrick Kane said "those two had it out for each other for some reason," and was glad to see Toews take matters into his own hands. Kane, meanwhile, will leave the fighting to his captain, thank you very much.
"He's got into three, I'm three behind him," Kane said. "I don't know if I can just pick someone and fight, that's not really a good thing."
Then Kane looked at his hands.
"Don't want to mess these things up too bad," he said.