On his second shift as a Capital, D.J. King decided to get the first fight out of the way and maybe show his new team that he has more than just a reputation as an NHL heavyweight.
King convinced Boston's Shawn Thornton to drop the gloves for a rather lengthy fight, during which both players landed a few punches, earning the applause of the Verizon Center crowd and stick taps of teammates. They were both given five-minute fighting majors.
"I told him earlier on: 'You don't have to fight in training camp'... but he wanted to show his new teammates and the fans that he's not bad at his craft," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It made the guys feel better on the bench knowing they had a big brother out there...that's the feeling I got. We never really had that tough, physical presence last year."
After his first fight in Washington, it's hard to imagine many teams will want to take many liberties against the Capitals this season when King has dressed for a game.
King actually fought Thornton twice previously (per Hockeyfights.com), with the first meeting coming in January of 2007 when Thornton was still a member of the Anaheim Ducks. An interesting thing about the NHL enforcer community is that with such a small group of players partaking in the pugilistic arts, most are familiar with each other and have fought multiple times.
"I've been around long enough I think I've pretty much fought everyone in the league. It's bound to just happen over the years," said King, who added that while he and Thornton were in the penalty boxes he confirmed that it was the first fight of the year for both of them. "Always good to get that first one out of the way."
Here's King's reaction to when Alex Ovechkin got into a scrum late in the game:
"It's tough watching when you're not on the ice and to see him go into the boards like that. It's something you put up in the head there and the next time you play them and you get a good chance to run at someone, you can get a good hit on them."
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