The Detroit Red Wings prefer to showcase their toughness with gloves on not off. That isn’t about to change.

A little weekend exhibition excursion against the Toronto Maple Leafs offered an opportunity for the Wings to renew acquaintances with an opponent now in the same division after years in separate conferences. The Wings’ move to the East has focused greatly on how much more amenable travel will be but Friday’s game at Joe Louis Arena also prompted talk about toughness.

The Leafs finished last season with an NHL-high 44 fighting majors. The Wings were second from the bottom with 14. Boston another new division rival had 32; Ottawa Buffalo and Montreal each had at least 25.

This doesn't faze the Wings. They won Friday 5-2 and while David Clarkson and Jonathan Ericsson dropped gloves in the third period what they did was hardly fight.

“I know what we’re going to do we’re going to play the way we always play” coach Mike Babcock said. “It seems to have done pretty well for us.”

General manager Ken Holland doesn’t believe it prudent to use a roster spot on an enforcer a guy who usually only has that one dimension. The Wings do have guys who’ll fight — most notably Todd Bertuzzi Justin Abdelkader and Jordin Tootoo. Tootoo currently sidelined by a bruised shoulder found himself a healthy scratch last year down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Part of the Red Wings’ thinking: if they don’t have an enforcer in the lineup opponents might not dress one either because who is he going to fight? Secondly — and much of exhibition season has been spent working on power plays for this reason — is that if liberties are taken against stars the Wings would rather have the man advantage and use that as punishment.