The Chicago Blackhawks starring Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith raised their eyebrows on Tuesday morning when they started scrapping during the team's morning skating, according to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic.
"Just a friendly fight,quot; Toews told Lazerus after the skate was over. He offered no further information on what he could have faced with teammates of a lifetime.
"That is the goal of a morning skate, to prepare you for the game," he added. "We are ready now."
Lazerus, who described the fight as something between a total fight and a friendly fight, reported that Toews had Keith frozen in ice and he took off most of his shirt before Chicago assistant coach Sheldon Brookbank broke the fight.
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The end of what appeared to be a, um, physical disagreement between Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.
I didn't see what precipitated it and I can't say if it was real but it sure was. pic.twitter.com/77ZcWnk5ZG
– Jimmy Greenfield (@jcgreenx) January 21, 2020
The Blackhawks returned to their usual rollerblading routine in the morning after the incident in preparation for their home game against the Florida Panthers. Whatever the reason for the incident, no one around the team seemed too worried: Blackhawks goalkeeper Robin Lehner responded to the original Lazerus tweets praising Toews and Keith's competitive spirit. Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton compared junk with two brothers fighting.
Colliton, smiling: "Do you have a brother? Me too. And I have two children at home. I've seen that movie before."
– Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 21, 2020
Toews, the captain of the Blackhawks and Keith, an alternate captain, have been teammates since Toews entered the league when he was 19 in 2007.
Chicago's confrontation with the Panthers is the return of former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville to the United Center; both teams are on winning streaks of five games upon entering Tuesday's game.