The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/12/12 at 02:51 PM ET
Update from Paul, Weber fined $2500, health of Zetterberg came in to play on the decision.
Also note original post of this blog was 11:02pm on 4/11/12.
Updated 4x with a little Swedish stuff at 2:54 AM: Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber gave Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg quite the punch and introduction to the end boards after being boarded by Z:
Update: Here’s NBC Sports’ Jeremy Roenick going ape about the hit…
And the reactions from both teams, via MLive’s Ansar Khan, should not surprise you:
“Zetterberg hit him in the head first,’’ Trotz said. “It wasn’t much there. I mean, I was watching the scrum right after that with (Todd) Bertuzzi and (Paul) Gaustad and Bertuzzi comes in with a big-time haymaker.
“I watched the first the one, I just think Zetterberg was getting tired at the end and knew Webs was there and the game was over.’‘
Asked what led to the sparks, Weber said, “It’s playoffs.’‘
Does he think he’ll be disciplined by the NHL?
“I don’t know,’’ Weber said. “He hit me from behind. So we’ll see. I don’t know.’‘
Zetterberg did not address the media. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he was “180 feet away’’ and didn’t get a good look at it and didn’t see it on video.
Update #2: Stolen from the Tennessean’s Joshua Cooper, who likely provided the Weber/Trotz quotes:
TSn’s Bob McKenzie has the following to say about the hit:
At this point, there has been no mention to NSH about disciplinary hearing for Shea Weber pushing Zetterberg’s head into boards/glass.
I would be shocked if Weber is suspended. Whether we like it or not, and many don’t, outcome or result of hit usually trumps intent.
Weber’s vicious first punch was glancing blow, turnbuckle move looked worse but wasn’t as forceful. Worse part for me: time of game. Over.
But Weber-Zetterberg will be reviewed but I suspect Gaustad’s hack on Datsyuk at same time will be reviewed too. Review may not = hearing.
If there’s going to be disciplinary hearing tomorrow, I would suggest it’s likely to be VAN’s Byron Bitz for boarding LAK’s Kyle Clifford.
Zetterberg hit Weber in the back moments before the retaliation from the Predators franchise defenseman, but Weber deflected the question when asked if that’s what set him off.
“I don’t know,” he said. “You guys watched it.”
He said the physical play is something to be expected in this series between two rivals.
“Both teams aren’t going to back down,” Weber said. “It’s going to be a long series.”( Now the question becomes will he be around to play for the entire thing? The hit would probably garner a suspension during the regular season, but during the recent GM meetings in March, Shanahan indicated that the postseason might be different.
“The standard of what is illegal or legal doesn’t change ... when you suspend a player during the regular season, you’re suspending him over 82 games,” Shanahan said at the time. “[In the playoffs], you’re looking at things in seven-game clumps. It’s a seven-game season each series.”
The Predators are already missing Hal Gill who missed the game with a lower body injury, making Shanahan’s decision with Weber even more critical. If Zetterberg wasn’t injured, that helps Weber’s case. Zetterberg wasn’t made available to the media after the game.
Update #3: If you’re keeping score at home, Nicklas Lidstrom told Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom that Weber’s hit was a dangerous one, but he suggested that Zetterberg was okay, and the team was hoping that he won’t turn up concussed this morning.
Update #4: Here’s one more angle from the CBC. You can see how Gaustad started giving Datsyuk one and then two-handers when time expired, which might be just as worrisome as Weber’s hit. Bertuzzi’s “haymaker” involved retaliating for Gaustad’s attempts to injure Datsyuk.
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