Todd Bertuzzi Fighting Shea Weber Gives Detroit Red Wings the Edge in Game 3

Matt Hutter@mahutter12Analyst IApril 14, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 13: Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings and Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators fight in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on April 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Let me acknowledge a few things right off the hop here.

Yes, I'm aware the Todd Bertuzzi fight against Shea Weber was hardly a barn-burner.

Agreed. If the Wings are looking for an edge, the fact that they won Game 2 on the road is it.

True, if this were to turn into a series determined by which team is tougher, the Wings aren't going to win it.

I understand all of these things, so no need to react to the title alone with similar commentary.

While I thought that, in the end, Shea Weber slamming Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass would give the Wings added motivation to win Game 2, it wasn't because I thought the Wings were going to take Weber to task with their fists.

But the fact that Todd Bertuzzi did just that at the start of Game 2 leads me to believe that no other response, even winning the game, would have been appropriate.

The Predators themselves had to have been a little surprised when they saw Bertuzzi drop his gloves and lock horns with Weber.

Let's face it, Bertuzzi may be big, he may be tough, but he's not Detroit's enforcer.

And though some players like Justin Abdelkader and Jonathan Ericsson have flirted with providing those duties part time on occasion, Detroit is essentially devoid of any player whose principle job it is to settle scores for his teammates.

So when a veteran top-line player like Bertuzzi takes it upon himself to tangle with Weber (and consequently take him off the ice for Nashville, who was about to go on the power play), it makes a strong statement, to both teams.

"We will not be intimidated, we will not be pushed around, and we will settle scores, even if the league won't."

Add to those sentiments the fact the Wings will beat the Predators in their own building, the Wings seem to have the edge in the series as it moves to Game 3 in Detroit on Sunday.

Understand, in most cases, the last team to win a playoff game almost always has "the edge" going into the next one.

But in this particular case, it seems the win alone might not have been enough to tip the scales, however slightly, in Detroit's favor.

Bertuzzi fighting Weber makes the Red Wings' Game 2 win complete in a way it would not have been had the Wings simply tied the series, leaving Weber's piddly $2,500 fine as the only reprimand for his actions at the end of Game 1.

The score, and the series, is now even. But heading into Game 3, the Red Wings have the edge.

An edge that might not be as sharp had Bertuzzi kept his gloves on.


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