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Message sent? Wings coach Mike Babcock said it had to be fists for Weber

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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Comments

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I’m still not satisfied, especially after the joking crap at practice. I still say errant puck to jaw.

Posted by T on 04/14/12 at 02:01 AM ET

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No suspension + the jokes makes my blood *#$%@& boil. Unbelievable. Who the *#$%@& do they think they are? They’re a shit little franchise with no successes and obviously no leadership. Vancouver south over here. No respect.

And it was Henrik Zetterberg. Weber has how many inches and probably 100lbs on him? *#$%@& these guys. Theyve never won anything and never will

Shoulda let sleeping dogs lie. We’re going to hammer them in the joe, i can feel it….

Posted by Pat on 04/14/12 at 03:11 AM ET

awould's avatar

They need to get him in a fight every game. Twice a game. Let Abdelkader and Bert take turns. Then when the series is wrapped up, put an elbow in his nose.

Posted by awould on 04/14/12 at 03:23 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

Well done, Bertuzzi!

vampire

Posted by w2j2 on 04/14/12 at 03:37 AM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Don’t get me wrong… what Weber did was absolute chickenshit. But on some level, I’d like to thank him for providing the spark to ignite the fire on this team. I can’t remember the last time I felt so amped up about a game. But it’s been awhile and I hope it lasts thru mid-June-ish. LGRW!!!

Posted by SandysWingingit on 04/14/12 at 03:42 AM ET

Crow's avatar

The message was sent.  More importantly we won the game despite some defensive lapses.  I particularly enjoyed watching Stuie, Buckets, Abs, Mule,BigE and a few others raise their physical play.  Keep it up boys!

Posted by Crow on 04/14/12 at 03:46 AM ET

awould's avatar

Bloodying Franzen early in the game is a mistake. He might be the most emotional, mercurial player in the league today. Pissing him off is ill advised.

Posted by awould on 04/14/12 at 03:46 AM ET

awould's avatar

BigE need to learn how to pass the puck.

Posted by awould on 04/14/12 at 03:50 AM ET

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There.  Done.  Resolved.  Message sent.  Now get over it.

If we didn’t have that idiotic instigator rule, this would have been resolved immedeately after the cheapshot happened.

Posted by sean_o_sean on 04/14/12 at 04:09 AM ET

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Agree with Sandys. The worst thing Weber could have done was give the Wings the spark they had hitherto lacked. They’re tough enough without it.

Then the Pred’s joking about the hit. Pity. They might have once had a chance this series.

Typical David Poile team, forever strangers to the 2nd round.

Should I put spoiler tags on that?

Posted by DerpDerpWeber on 04/14/12 at 04:25 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

For the record, Vince Gill is an idiot:

Image from the AP.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/12 at 05:07 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Heh…because Vince Gill was last relevant…um…hold on…I have to think about this…

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 04/14/12 at 05:13 AM ET

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Ha George… I thought that was Chaz Bono…

Posted by LGRWeh on 04/14/12 at 05:35 AM ET

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1 You cheap shot a star. 
2 You fight Bertuzzi in the next game. 
3 Everyone is happy. 

Taking notes, Steve Moore?

Posted by Jerry on 04/14/12 at 06:21 AM ET

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Bloodying Franzen early in the game is a mistake. He might be the most emotional, mercurial player in the league today. Pissing him off is ill advised.

Posted by awould on 04/14/12 at 01:46 AM ET

For about the last month, i’ve been hoping that babcock would assign Bertuzzi to punch Franzen in the face right before they hit the ice every shift.

obviously teams dont watch enough video on this guy.  If they did, they woulld know that if you leave him alone, he will just float around and do nothing the entire game.

Posted by jwad on 04/14/12 at 06:55 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I can’t see the Predators backing off in the physicality department, and I think it’s going to eventually bite them in the ass. I hope it will, anyway.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/12 at 07:09 AM ET

perfection's avatar

you know nobody mentioned it on the broadcast and I’ve seen nobody mention it in the press yet, but I think the most brilliant part about that fight was WHEN Bert did it… on the delayed power play. Revenge aside, he managed to engage the top player on the team with the top PP and get him off the ice for that first power play. Shea Weber completely alters the look of their PP and who knows how this game goes down if they score on that. Hell, he’s not just a danger to score on the PP, but each one of those slapshots has the potential of ending someone’s season. Bert, who doesn’t kill penalties, got to not only avenge the play on Z, but made a really savvy move with his timing IMO.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/14/12 at 09:26 AM ET

edillac's avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/14/12 at 07:26 AM ET

thought about that;maybe it was just coincidence,or Bert is a genius

Posted by edillac from isolation on 04/14/12 at 09:49 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

“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.”

I can’t tell you how happy it made me that Babcock said this.  And I don’t usually like fighting, but after last night I am officially in love with Todd Bertuzzi.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/14/12 at 10:22 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/14/12 at 07:26 AM ET

Wow.  Geez, you’re right.  Hadn’t thought of that.  That WAS brilliant.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/14/12 at 10:29 AM ET

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The Wings did what the league didn’t.
And while I have always liked Weber and have wanted him in a Winged Wheel, well, not so much now. Of course, I wasn’t happy about Bertuzzi, either. But he has grown into being a Wing. Maybe Weber would, too. He’ll always be something less than that in Nashville.
I agree with the comments below. Nashville hasn’t won anything—at least not yet. I’d like the Wings to keep it that way.
I like starting these series on the road. Split the first two and the next 3 of 4 are at home. Philly and LA must be feeling good, but remember the Wings-Canucks series a few years back when Detroit lost the first two, and only turned the series around when Lidstrom bounced one in from center ice.

Posted by Steve Klein from Fairfax, Va. on 04/14/12 at 10:45 AM ET

D-line's avatar

Vince Gill looks like he could stand to mix in a salad or two.    just sayin….....

Posted by D-line on 04/14/12 at 11:53 AM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

obviously teams dont watch enough video on this guy.  If they did, they woulld know that if you leave him alone, he will just float around and do nothing the entire game.
Posted by jwad on 04/14/12 at 04:55 AM ET

Actually, I think that’s part of the Mule’s M.O. to make himself invisible, portraying himself as not worthy of defending, kinda skatin’ around (whistling like in that Dodge commercial) so he can sneak in unnoticed for the score. He’s got the first part down pat…

Posted by SandysWingingit on 04/14/12 at 11:55 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Shea Weber is such a huge piece of sh**, it defies words.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 04/14/12 at 12:34 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/12 at 03:07 AM ET

Ha! Every village has one. Question is, does this village have any that aren’t?

Posted by SandysWingingit on 04/14/12 at 12:41 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Nashville—a village full of idiots.  Absolute truth.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 04/14/12 at 01:44 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/12 at 03:07 AM ET

Someone needs to photo shop the crap outta that immediately.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 04/14/12 at 02:37 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

If you didn’t have FSD, Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond were all over, “Holy crap, fighting Weber while Mule was gonna go for a penalty was GENIUS” like white on rice. It was an instantaneous observation and it had Mickey borderline giddy about Weber’s howitzer finding a seat in the penalty box…

And Vince doesn’t need us to edit a photo for the sake of making him look even dumber. This was his reaction (again, per the Associated Press) to the 3-2 goal:

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/12 at 02:54 PM ET

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On top of this oh-so-savvy country music singer is Mrs. Fisher’s dislike for playoff beards….hasn’t Mike told her shaving means you’re done.

Posted by wingsuver4ever from TC on 04/14/12 at 05:22 PM ET

Juice in LA's avatar

I’m sick of fighting in the game- I hate that professional hockey is the only professional sport where a stoppage of play for fisticuffs and brutality is encouraged, lauded, enjoyed and woefully dubbed tradition.  Its absolutely why Hockey is the least popular of all the professional sports. Its akin to a nascar driver taking offense to being cut off and deciding to run the offender off the road. Pure and simple. By virtue of allowing outside of play fighting to happen in this game, it ceases to be a true sport. As long as fighting in hockey exist, its not a sport. That said, 

However, The reason Bertuzzi felt he had to go out and put a beat down on Weber is because the league failed in the most colossal fashion.  The league not only sanctioned Bertuzzi’s retribution they knew it would result and they all but sanctioned it.

As disgusted as I am by what Weber did and the leagues response(Brendan Shanahan’s 30 second felate/hand job of Weber’s testicles), and I understand that Berts and babs did what they felt was right, the assumption/innuendo that Babcock made it clear someone needed to respond to Weber is really only one step short of a Coach sanctioning a bounty system.

Of course this is totally different, but also, its not. I don;t blame Babs or Berts for their reactions- not oen bit. Becauseultimately its all the leagues fault. the f*cking league failed on this, colossally.  Worse the leagues non-reaction is a clear license by the powers that be that coaches and players need to take the law and rules and justice into their own hands.

this isn’t a sport, this is chaos.

Posted by Juice in LA from Los Angeles by way of Detroit on 04/14/12 at 06:17 PM ET

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this isn’t a sport, this is chaos.

Posted by Juice in LA on 04/14/12 at 04:17 PM ET

Actually it is a nice and beautiful sport. But Canadians prefer their hockey hard, not Euro-soft. They enjoy and encourage fighting in hockey. It is part of their “culture”. The play-by-play commentators on CBC start frothing at the mouth when a fight starts and give a spirited play-by-play as if they were broadcasting a boxing match. Some “tough guys” are hired after retirement as talking-heads on CBC. They look quite inapt but who cares. They are paid back for the guilty pleasure they provided to the nation. Life and health, mental and physical, of other “tough guys” are ruined.
The current NHL “crusade” against head shots would have never happened if a certain Canadian lad named Cindy had not been a concussed victim of an open-ice blindside hit to a head delivered, ironically, by a Euro.

Posted by Alex on 04/15/12 at 03:03 AM ET

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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.