By Josh Cooper in Nashville
Mike Babcock had to go for a jog and work out with the Detroit Red Wings strength coach in order to work off his anger toward Shea Weber's lack of suspension for slamming Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass. That way when he met with the media, Babcock kept his cool and didn't display any sort of negative emotion toward the play which occurred at the end of Game 1.
"I burned off any kind of ill feeling I could possibly have. I've moved on," he said.
On Thursday, the NHL announced it would fine Weber the league maximum of $2,500. He avoided suspension, mostly due to the lack of injury from Zetterberg. Still, that didn't prevent the Red Wings star from venting some of his frustrations.
"I thought it was dirty," Zetterberg said. "I think it was targeted to my head, and with what's happened the last few years with all the head injuries, I think that shouldn't belong in the game."
Zetterberg said the play cracked his helmet. He also said he felt "a little dizzy" after the play. Whether this was just gamesmanship or the truth, Weber will be in the lineup Friday for Game 2 between the Wings and Predators. He said he talked with NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan Thursday morning, and the former player had a simple message for Weber.
"Play to the edge and not over. It's cut and dry and everyone is going to have to do that in here," Weber said.
On Wednesday after the game, the Predators firmly believed that Weber's play shouldn't have merited a suspension. They still felt this way Thursday, and were happy to know their captain would be in the lineup for Game 2.
"Shea is a big part of our team. The league does a great job all the time of reviewing and nothing gets by them anymore. When I was asked yesterday about it, they handled it and handled it in a very thorough way," Coach Barry Trotz said. "With five seconds to go, we won the draw, Shea got it and they were trying to get it off of him any way they could, and Zetterberg came in when Shea's back was turned and that was probably the reactionary."
Said defenceman Ryan Suter, "He's a big part of our team. You never want to lose a top player like that. It's good that he's in the lineup."
There wasn't much worry of retribution from the Red Wings for Nashville. Detroit is a professional group that understands the best place to hurt an opposition is on the scoreboard. Also, if the Wings lose Friday, they will go down 0-2 heading home for Sunday's game at Joe Louis Arena.
"It is what it is," defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We have to focus on the game in hand here, the game coming up tomorrow night and that's going to be on our minds and our focus now."Josh Cooper reports for The Tennessean. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCooper
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