Tampa Bay Lightning Tied for Fighting Majors Lead

Lightning makes over image with NHL-best 10 fights

This isn’t goon stuff, though. It is the application of coach Jon Cooper’s belief that intimidation still is part of the game, fighting polices the game and sticking up for teammates creates bonds that are difficult to break.

“It’s what we’re trying to build here,” Gudas said. “We don’t like to be pushed around, and we don’t like when some guys think they can lay out our top guys and not pay for it.”

“But I don’t want to misconstrue fighting as being hard to play against,” Cooper said. “Have we gotten into our share of battles and fights this year? Yes, we have. But I don’t think that’s been the identity of the team. We’ve been in some tight games and had to grind them out till the end. They’ve been close. There’s been a lot of hard hitting. That’s tough to play against.”