In the final seconds of Wednesday night’s first-round NHL Playoff game between the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings, Predators defenseman Shea Weber threw a punch at Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg.
Then, after failing to land the punch in the back of Zetterberg’s head, Weber slammed Zetterberg’s head into the glass.
$2,500 is the maximum fine allowed under the NHL’s current CBA. NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan suggested that Weber got off with such a mild punishment because Zetterberg sustained no injuries. Shanahan also said that Weber’s actions on Wednesday would be a significant factor “in assessing any incidents involving Shea Weber throughout the remainder of the playoffs.”
Shanahan came down harder on Byron Bitz of the Vancouver Canucks yesterday, suspending him two games for a hit Wednesday night on Kyle Clifford of the L.A. Kings. Bitz’s hit, while not as blatant as what Weber did, resulted in injury, and Clifford will miss at least one game.
I’m a Nashville Predators fan who wants nothing more from the next two weeks than to see the Preds eliminate my least favorite NHL team and advance to the second round of the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Considering how well the Red Wings play at home and how vulnerable they are on the road, it is vital that the Preds win tonight and maintain home ice advantage for the series. And winning tonight would have been much more difficult without the services of the Preds’ captain and best player.
That said, I think the NHL should have suspended Shea Weber for Game 2 (and maybe Game 3 as well).
As a Predators fan, I’m obligated to tell you that Zetterberg shot first, hitting Weber from behind. But Zetterberg’s hit, though unnecessary, was mostly harmless.
Weber’s response was reckless and dangerous.
Zetterberg skated away from the incident unscathed, but no one would have been surprised if the scuffle had resulted in a concussion or other head injury. By failing to suspend Weber, the NHL missed an opportunity to make a statement about player safety and what sort of play will not be tolerated.
Shea Weber whispers sweet nothings into Henrik Zetterberg's ear. (Picture by Sanford Myers / The Tennessean)
That’s one reason I wish Weber had been suspended. My other reasons are selfish.
As a fan, I don’t want anyone to get the impression that my team had an unfair advantage.
I’m uncomfortable whenever a big discrepancy in penalty minutes, personal fouls, or penalty yards works in favor of my team. In most situations, I’d prefer to be the victim of a bad call or decision by the league office than the beneficiary. If my team wins, I want there to be no doubt that they deserved the victory.
If the Predators end up winning this series, I don’t want to have to listen to Red Wings fans say, “Yes, but, your best player shouldn’t have played in Game 2.” Granted, after most any game or series, fans of the losing team find something to complain about or identify some reason why their team shouldn’t have lost.
But in this situation, Red Wings fans would be right; and there’s nothing worse than having to admit that Red Wings fans are right.
I’m also concerned about the impact of this incident and the lack of punishment on the rest of the series.
If Shea Weber had pulled this stunt in an NBA game, David Stern wouldn’t let him step back onto the court until 2013. (I exaggerate, but you know what I mean.) The NHL is much more lenient, allowing players to police themselves. And since the league didn’t punish Weber (and $2,500 isn’t punishment for a player who is making $7.5 million this season), I have to imagine that Niklas Kronwall or some other Red Wing will. Then, depending on the severity of the retaliation, I’ll have to worry about what Jordin Tootoo will do in response.
These teams will face each other at least three more times and will have plenty of opportunities to discipline each other. The NHL would have been wise to take that responsibility out of the players’ hands.
Shea Weber will play tonight, and I hope he plays well and that the Predators win. But I’ll feel better in the long run if Weber plays poorly and the Preds lose Game 2 then ultimately find a way to win the series.
NASHVILLE Predators All-Star defenseman Shea Weber will avoid suspension for his hit after the final whistle in Game 1 on Wednesday of his team's 3-2 victory over Detroit in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
Weber was assessed a roughing penalty at 20:00 of the third period for grabbing the head of Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg and what the league described as shoving...
Its always been about the playoffs in the NHL.
Sure the regular season is a great way to determine which teams get to compete during hockeys second season, but for a sport considered regional in the United States, playoff hockey is the leagues signature event.
If the sport is ever going to get any national play, its at playoff time unless violence is involved. Once blood is spilled...
The NHL has fined Nashville defenseman Shea Weber $2,500 for slamming Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg's head against the glass at the end of Game 1.
Weber was assessed a minor penalty for roughing, and the NHL announced the fine Thursday while the Predators were practicing. The league noted the fine was the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Nashville Predators head to Detroit for Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals with an 11 am CDT start time on Sunday morning.
Shea Weber, celebrating a goal on Friday night, says playing in Detroit brings out the best of the Predators.
It is the third time that the Predators and the Red Wings have met in the postseason. Detroit beat Nashville in the first round of the...
Granted, technically this hit on Henrik Zetterberg by Shea Weber wasn't a traditional hit. It was more of a "I'm gonna fight you, Steve!" kind of move than anything else:
The reaction on Twitter was immediate and universal: "What the hell was Weber thinking?" It didn't seem to matter what team you were a fan of (disclaimer...
How dare they! A fight in hockey, how unacceptable. As you can see from the reaction on the bench and in the stands, that no on approves of this thugish behavior. Seriously!!! I have never seen anyone get up during a fight and leave a hockey game. The fans love it.
This is how they settle difference in the game of hockey, this is per the "Hockey Code" last game...
The NHL announced Thursday afternoon that Shea Weber has been fined 2,500, the maximum allowed under the league's collective bargaining agreement, after shoving Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass at the end of Game 1 Wednesday night.
"We felt this was a reckless and reactionary play on which Weber threw a glancing punch and then shoved Zetterberg's head into...
Right at the beginning of the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, Todd Bertuzzi informed Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber that he would be engaging in some fisticuffs as the result of his “Webering” of Henrik Zetterberg’s head during the teams’ previous meeting, and Bertuzzi and Weber engaged in what was a clean tilt…
And while most of...
We are less than a week into the playoffs and it seems the main story line of the playoffs so far has been head shots and general player safety whether it was the Shea Weber non-suspension or the number of dangerous hits and other ‘goonery’ that took place last night and it probably all started with [...]
When the puck drops on Friday night at Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators will face an angry Detroit Red Wings team. Nashville took game one of the Western Conference quarterfinals by a 3-2 score, but were outplayed in the second half of the contest and clearly lost the special teams battle.
The Predators went 0 for 6 on the man advantage Wednesday night. Detroit scored...
We all know the intensity is turned up a notch in the NHL playoffs, but that wasn’t enough for the Predators’ Shea Weber.
He decided to transcend “sports” in a moment where he seemingly tried to impress Vince McMahon, grabbing the Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg’s head and smashing it into the glass.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brendan Shanahan hand down a suspension...
As the Detroit Red Wings attempt to rebound from Wednesday’s loss to Nashville in Game 2 against the Predators tonight (7:30 PM EDT—take note that it’s not an 8:30 start, folks—FSD/FS Tennessee/CBC/CNBC/97.1 FM), we can make two easy assumptions:
Despite the NHL media, Wings’ press corps, the Chief’s, Don Cherry’s, Steve Rosenbloom’s and Jeremy Roenick’s (and my...
Afterall, Brendan Shanahan has been a part of the Wings locker room and he knows the main goal of that room is to win the game.
Instead of suspending Shea Weber for a game, maybe Shanahan knew/felt the Wings would respond in a way to make Weber accountable for his actions and still force Weber to skate on egg shells for the rest of series.
Back in his Detroit playing days, Shanahan...
As it turns out, regardless of one is a hockey player or a hockey blogger, playing at less than 100% of one’s capabilities…I don’t usually use this word, but it sucks, frankly. So in lieu of a recap, here’s what I can give ya: a sampling of Red Wings-related stuff subsequent to the Wings’ 3-2 victory over the Predators and Todd Bertuzzi’s dust-up with Shea Weber:
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