CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks apparently don’t like opponents getting too physical with their captain.
When the Los Angeles Kings' Colin Fraser knocked Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews strongly with his stick midway through the third period, the Blackhawks were quick to jump to Toews’ defense. First, Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival went after Fraser and took him to the ground.
“Johnny got hit there in front of the net for no reason,” Rozsival said. “I just wanted to help him out and let him know we are there.”
As Rozsival and Fraser exchanged blows on the ice, the Kings’ Kyle Clifford locked grips with Toews, and they took a few swipes at each other.
To add to the mix, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford had seen enough of Clifford making contact with Toews, and Crawford skated over and put his arms around Clifford’s head to try to pull him away from Toews.
When everyone was finally separated, Fraser, Clifford, Toews and Rozsival were called for roughing, and Rozsival also added a cross-checking penalty.
Toews was appreciative of the support, but he was especially surprised to see Crawford stepping up for him.
“No, I wasn't expecting that,” Toews said. “It should be the other way around, but it's playoff time and he's showing his true colors that he's going to step in and help a teammate out no matter what. It's a pretty cool thing to see your goaltender get in like that.”
Crawford said he was doing what he thought was just.
“The guy grabbed him, got a couple free shots,” Crawford said. “I figured it was enough. I just decided to go in there and grab his head.”
Crawford drew laughs with his answer, but so did Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
“You know, things happen,” Quenneville said of the incident. “Spontaneous combustion. Sometimes you can't forecast or predict that stuff.”