When Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya committed a costly penalty by jumping Kings forward Justin Williams after a collision with goalie Ray Emery with 1 minute, 4 seconds left in Sunday's 3-2 victory, he reacted instinctively.

So did most of us in the United Center shaking our heads upon seeing the avoidable scrap that gave the Kings the chance for a 6-on-4 advantage in the final, furious minute: What was Oduya thinking?

Dangerously, he wasn't. Intelligent hockey observers raised similar questions about the prudence of Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews picking a fight Friday with 6-foot-4, 225-pound Sharks center Joe Thornton. Inspired teammates later kidded Toews about the shiner and fat lip he earned the hard way, but nobody in Chicago would have laughed had the player who suffered a concussion last year absorbed a right hook to the head.