The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/14/12 at 01:52 AM ET
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 the Wings’ players who were seen on Fox Sports Detroit’s post-game suggested that the event was spontaneous, Wings coach Mike Babcock, who usually lauds Weber’s play during the regular season, rather forcefully told Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating that he would have accepted nothing less from Bertuzzi or his teammates. During his post-game presser, Babcock went a little further, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes:
“I just thought that the incident the other night wasn’t part of hockey,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I haven’t seen it since junior hockey. I thought it was unacceptable, and I think sometimes, when things don’t get looked after, you have to look after it yourself. I didn’t think things were looked after, at all.”
Bertuzzi’s fought before, and in the playoffs, to stand up for teammates. His latest effort was much appreciated.
“Yeah, it as nice to see,” Zetterberg said with a smile. “It was a great start to the game. He went in and did his thing. It was good for the game, good for the series, and got us fired up.”
Bertuzzi scowled through his post-game scrum with the press, insisting “it’s just kind of something you’ve got to do—you’ve got to stick up for your teammates and do stuff like that. The game was more important, though, it was good to get a win.”
Asked if it was important to get it out the way early—the fight happened at 1:36, Bertuzzi said, “it’s just hockey. Those kinds of things happen. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to try to win.”
“He took care of it, showing that we’re not going to accept that,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “It didn’t become a distraction to our team. It was handled early on, and then we moved on to play the game, and it was a hard fought game, but it was great just to see the way our team responded to it.”
Update: If you’re wondering what Zetterberg had to say in Swedish, he told Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman that Bertuzzi’s a good person for standing up for him, and that it felt good to see Bertuzzi do what he did, but he also points out that he’s much happier with the fact that the Wings shut the Predators’ power play down en route to winning and heading home tied 1-1, and Tomas Holmstrom agreed with Zetterberg’s assessment, telling Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom that he’s most happy with the team’s win, but that Bertuzzi showed that the Wings care about each other and will stand up for each other, describing Bertuzzi’s fight as “superb.”
Hell, even Evil Drew Sharp endorsed what he’s calling “frontier justice,” which is scary.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.