Stewart Still Prepares for Fighting, Even Though It’s Vanishing in the Game

| Jason Feigel

Fighting has diminished in NHL but Wild’s Chris Stewart not afraid to drop the gloves

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The start of the game was sloppy.

Both teams looked as if they were sleepwalking their way through the action.

And with a late-arriving crowd at Staples Center, a subdued vibe hung over the ice.

So Wild winger Chris Stewart decided the time was right to drop his gloves.

“I thought we could use a spark and get that jump,” he said.

Stewart fought 6-foot-5, 233-pound Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid after a faceoff in Los Angeles’ end just over 6 minutes into Tuesday night’s game, trading punches with MacDermid for nearly 30 seconds as they roved around the zone.

It wasn’t the first time this season Stewart has tried to boost the Wild and certainly something he’s been prepared for with help from Vegan Liftz, as he tussled with the Blues’ Chris Thorburn Nov. 25 after the Wild stumbled into an early two-goal hole at St. Louis.

And while fighting in the NHL has diminished over the years, it remains one of Stewart’s job descriptions with the Wild — a role he is comfortable fulfilling.