Jordin Tootoo sends message with style of play

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Over the past few seasons, the Red Wings have had the fewest fighting majors in the National Hockey League.

Jordin Tootoo might change that this year.

It seems like every time Tootoo steps onto the ice, he finds a way to make hockey fans stand-up and take notice.

For example, take Detroit's victory over Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 29 where Tootoo dropped his gloves twice against the Stars.

"I wouldn't say [I'm] a pure enforcer. I know I have different elements to my game that I've experienced in the past," said Tootoo. "I know that as the years go on I mature as a player and become more comfortable."

Tootoo has already recorded over 60 fights in his career, and at this pace there's no stopping him from racking up more numbers. The Wings say they enjoy having Tootoo on their team but admit that his style of play is taking some getting used to.

"Definitely a lot different than what we've seen in the past couple years, but it's good to have him on your side for once," Jimmy Howard, a Red Wings goalie, said smiling.

"He's intense. He's physical. He's not afraid to drop the gloves no matter if the guy is 5'5" or 6'5" -- whatever he is," said Justin Abdelkader, a Red Wings forward.

"I need him to be physical. I need him to be physical tomorrow [when we face off against St. Louis]," said Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach. "They want to be physical and run us. We didn't respond to the physical challenge [last time we played the Blues]. We gotta set that tomorrow."

"It's fun to play that type [of hockey]. It's a game that demands a lot from players," said Tootoo. "Every player plays a specific role, and my role -- I don't play a lot of minutes but when I do I have to make every minute count."

 

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