The game was over. So Shea Weber deserves to miss the next one. That’s my opinion, at least. And it’s one that appears to be shared by many NHL observers this morning, after the Nashville Predators’ captain capped his team’s Game 1 playoff win over the Red Wings last night by gratuitously slamming Henrik Zetterberg’s face into the glass.
We’ll see if the league’s disciplinary czar, Brendan Shanahan, agrees. We’ll see if the fact it’s the playoffs, or that Zetterberg apparently is OK, will be mitigating factors and Weber gets off with perhaps only a fine. (As TSN’s Bob McKenzie posted on Twitter last night, “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.”)
Or maybe there’s enough of an uproar about the hit to force Shanny’s hand a bit. (The fact that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in the building might also play a role.) Jeremy Roenick, working for NBC Sports, called it “a brain-dead decision” by Weber and predicted a suspension.
“There’s no question in my mind that Brendan Shanahan’s gonna come down on this,” Roenick said. “It’s totally uncalled for. It’s at the end of the game. … There’s no question.”
I’m not so sure about that last part, especially given the NHL’s track record on postseason discipline. But we should have an answer soon enough. Game 2 is Friday night.