As it turned out, Shea Weber didn’t simply pay for his actions at the end of Wednesday’s playoff opener with money. He also had to give up a little bit of his time.
One day after the Nashville Predators’ captain was assessed a $2,500 fine for his hit on Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, he was approached by Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi regarding the same manner.
Weber and Bertuzzi fought 1:38 into Game 2, which the Red Wings ultimately won 3-2 Friday at Bridgestone Arena.
“I had an idea that something was up in warm-ups, Bertuzzi sort of looked at me and I thought if there was going to be someone [Bertuzzi] was the one to do it,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s hockey. It’s over with. It sort of brings closure to an event.”
The event in question took place as the final seconds ticked off in Nashville’s 3-2 victory in the series opener. Weber, in response to a hit from behind, forcibly shoved Zetterberg face-first into the glass twice.
Zetterberg claimed the encounter left him woozy, but the fact that he was able to play in Game 2 and Weber’s spotless record in terms of supplemental discipline resulted in the fine but no suspension.
Detroit was not completely satisfied with that ruling.
“I just think [Bertuzzi] had to do the right thing,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “He did, and I thought it was important for our team that that happened. I think it’s an important part of hockey.”
It actually happened at an important time too. Referees were poised to call a penalty against Detroit when the 6-foot-3, 229-pound Bertuzzi and the 6-foot-4, 232-pound Weber dropped the gloves. Their encounter was spirited but not particularly taxing in terms of the punishment delivered by either one.
The most significant impact of the whole thing was that Weber served the first two minutes of his five-minute major (Bertuzzi was assessed the same thing) while his team was on the power play. With his booming slap shot, the defenseman is a critical part of Nashville’s power play, which was 0-6 for the second time in as many games.
“He was sticking up for his teammate,” Weber said. “I’m sure anyone in here would do the same thing if something happened.”
Even with the time he spent in the penalty box, Weber was on the ice for 25:23, fourth among all players and slightly more than two minutes fewer than he played in the opener. Bertuzzi’s ice time was virtually identical in the two games, but he was confident his five minutes in the penalty box was time well spent.
“It’s kind of something you’ve got to do,” Bertuzzi said. “You’ve got to stick up for your teammates and do stuff like that.”