With three fighting majors in his first six games as a Red Wing, Jordin Tootoo has made it pretty clear chucking knuckles will be a major part of his role this season.
And just in case there was any doubt, he told the Macomb Daily the same thing.
“That’s part of my DNA, to bring emotion into the game and having guys feed off of that,” Tootoo said. “I feel great. Let’s get after it again. I still had one more fight in me. I mean, it is what it is, but it is all part of the game.
“For me I don’t mind doing that part.”
It didn’t take Tootoo long to register his first fight wearing the winged wheel. After going silent in a 6-0 drubbing in St. Louis to open the season, he started off the next game with a scrap against Columbus’ Jared Boll:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Three games later, Tootoo was back at it again, this time fighting Dallas’ Eric Nystrom off the hop:
Then — 16 minutes later — Tootoo got into a spirited tilt with Brenden Dillon:
Tootoo’s enthusiasm for fighting — and number of fights — isn’t something the Red Wings are used to.
They finished with the fewest fighting majors (15) in the league last season…and in 2010-11 (with 13)…and in 2009-10 (with 19).
Amazingly, there was actually one season — 2006-07 — where Tootoo fought more times (12) than the entire Detroit team (10).
“We’re not really used to seeing that,” Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. “But Toots goes out there and sets the tone for us, whether it’s a big hit or dropping the gloves.
“He got the crowd into it early for us.”