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Home 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs One more thing: Bertuzzi drops gloves with Weber
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One more thing: Bertuzzi drops gloves with Weber

On Thursday afternoon, Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock didn’t tip his hand when asked whether one of his players would stick up for Henrik Zetterberg after his head was slammed into the glass by Shea Weber. In fact, Babcock bluffed.

“We don’t have the personnel to get back at Weber,” Babcock said.

Ninety-six seconds into Game Two, Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi dropped the gloves with Weber in what was the first shift for both players.

Bertuzzi said of the fight, “It’s something you gotta do – stick up for your teammates and you do stuff like that. … It’s a hockey play. It’s part of the game.”

Predators head coach Barry Trotz had an idea in warm-ups that something was about happen between Bertuzzi and Weber.

“[Bertuzzi] sort of looked at me and I thought that if there was going to be someone, Bert was going to do it,” Trotz said. “Shea’s a big boy; he can take care of himself.”

Weber seemed to expect something to be coming his way after the incident with Zetterberg – especially since he was fined, not suspended.

“Obviously he’s sticking up for his teammate,” Weber said after the 3-2 loss to Detroit. “I’m sure anyone in here would do the same thing if something happened to us.”

After last night’s game, Babcock was a little more vocal about the incident/fight than anyone else.

“I think [Bertuzzi] had to do the right thing. He did, and I thought it was important for our team that that happened,” he said. “I think it’s an important part of hockey. I just thought the incident the other night wasn’t part of hockey. I haven’t seen it since junior hockey and I thought it was unacceptable. Sometimes when things don’t get looked after, you have to look after it yourself.”

There will certainly be some ill feelings from Red Wings fans when the series shifts to Detroit for Games Three and Four. But on the ice, as Trotz mentioned, “It’s over with.”

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This and That:

- Normally when the Predators and Red Wings face off, Pekka Rinne faces more than 30 shots. Last night was certainly an exception, as he made 14 saves on just 17 shots. Part of it had to do with the amount of time the Preds spent on the power play. Also, they were playing catch-up for the last 40 minutes and had more possession time with the puck.

Said Rinne, “The only thing I had to do was stop the rims and take the pucks out of my net. It was frustrating, but it was one of those nights where you don’t see a lot of rubber; and when you do it’s always a scoring chance.”

- Trotz and the players said all the right things about the power play following last night’s game. The fact of the matter is the power play is now 0-for-12 in the series, has failed to convert on a pair of 5-on-3’s, and has lost more momentum than it has gained. It’s starting to feel like the Chicago series from 2010, where the Preds’ man advantage went 0-for-23 before finally converting in Game Six of that series.

- Last night’s game seemed like a carbon copy to Game One, just with a role reversal. Detroit’s depth stepped up – Ian White and Cory Emmerton each scored – and they got a little bit of luck around the net with Johan Franzen’s goal. Contrarily, the Preds pushed the Red Wings late in the game, but failed to force overtime.

- Alexander Radulov was much better and a lot more active last night than he was on Wednesday. He assisted on the team’s first goal of the night, scored by Andrei Kostitsyn (who also played a solid game). Radulov led all Preds forwards with 21:42 of ice-time, recorded four shots, had another four blocked and a pair of takeaways.

- One of the Preds’ more consistent lines in the second half of the season was the trio of Mike Fisher, Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn. However, they have gone without a point in both games of this series, went minus-2 as a line last night and really have not looked sharp together for a while now. You have to wonder if Trotz shuffles a line or two to look for a spark heading into tomorrow’s contest.

- Speaking of Sergei Kostitsyn – he now has gone 11 straight games without a point, recording just one point in the last 14. The Preds need more from him and his linemates.

- Paul Gaustad logged only 10:08 of ice-time, but that was due to the Preds (a) being shorthanded just twice and (b) playing from behind all game. Gaustad picked up the primary assist on Weber’s goal late in the third period. ‘Goose’ has been one of the team’s best players early on in this series.

***

Smashville 24/7 3 stars of the night:
1. Jimmy Howard, DET (25 saves)
2. Andrei Kostitsyn, NSH (1 goal)
3. Johan Franzen, DET (1 goal)

Recaps around the blogosphere:

Preds On The Glass Inside Smashville Section 303
Puck Scene Hockey Night in Nashville On The Forecheck

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Decibel Level Chart:
How loud was it in Smashville last night? Find out here…

Decibels (dB) Play
109 (dB) Preds come onto the ice
105 Pekka Rinne pre-game introduction
107 Shea Weber/Todd Bertuzzi fight
106 Crowd before 5-on-3 chance
111 Andrei Kostitsyn 2nd period goal
110 Weber 3rd period goal
106 TV timeout ovation
 
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