Cross Checks: Todd Bertuzzi

NASHVILLE -- In Game 1 of the Nashville Predators series against the Detroit Red Wings, defenseman Shea Weber slammed Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass as time expired in a move that infuriated Red Wings fans and players.

The NHL opted not to suspend Weber, fining him $2,500 instead.

And, as we know in the NHL, when the league doesn’t take care of justice, the players do it themselves.

In this case, it was Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi handing out the punishment, and it didn’t take long. Just 1:36 into the first period of Detroit’s 3-2 win over Nashville in Game 2, Bertuzzi dropped the gloves to fight Weber and stick up for Zetterberg.

“It’s hockey. Things happen in the game and whatever,” Bertuzzi said. “It’s kind of something you gotta do. You have to stick up for your teammates and do stuff like that.”

Said Weber: “Obviously, he’s sticking up for his teammate and I’m sure anyone in here would do the same thing if something happened to us.”

After the game, there was a short pause after Bertuzzi was asked if the fight naturally happened or if it was something he was going to make sure happened. Bertuzzi will forever be linked to his hit on Steve Moore in 2004, which makes any premeditated retribution a touchy subject for the big forward.

“It’s a hockey play,” he answered. “It’s part of the game.”

The Red Wings aren’t a team built for fighting, so the list of candidates to take on Weber was a short one. It provided the Red Wings an emotional lift early in the game and Detroit jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the fight.

“That’s good to see. I thought we got that out of the way early,” Detroit forward Danny Cleary said. “We’re not a team built for that type of retribution or answers. Bert took it upon himself. He’s the biggest guy we’ve got.”

Perhaps the ideal solution would have been a suspension from the league, but when that didn’t come, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said sticking up for Zetterberg was a necessary action.

“It’s an important part of hockey, standing up,” Babcock said. “I just thought that the incident the other night wasn’t part of hockey. I haven’t seen it since junior hockey. I thought it was unacceptable and I think sometimes when things don’t get looked after [by the league] you have to look after it yourself. And I didn’t think things were looked after at all.”

Morning jam: Overnight game facts

March, 27, 2012
• The Red Wings took a 4-0 lead 9:51 into the first period in their victory over the Blue Jackets. It’s the fastest four goals to start a game for the Red Wings since Dec. 4, 1987, when they scored four goals 7:22 into the game in a 12-0 win over the Blackhawks. The four Detroit goals were scored by Tim Higgins (0:24), Steve Yzerman (0:37), Higgins again (1:48) and Joe Murphy (7:22).

Both Todd Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg handed out four assists in the Red Wings’ win. It’s the first time the Red Wings had two players each record four or more assists in the same game since Jan. 6, 1974, when Bill Hogaboam (1–4–5) and Pierre Jarry (1–4–5) did so in a 9–4 win over the Minnesota North Stars at Olympia Stadium.

• Steven Stamkos scored his 53rd goal of the season. Stamkos has scored 10 goals over his last nine games against the Flyers after scoring only once in his first seven career games against them.

Bertuzzi to face Moore in court in late 2012

September, 15, 2011
Steve Moore's multi-million dollar lawsuit steming from Todd Bertuzzi's blindside punch in 2004 is scheduled to go to court in late 2012.

Moore's lawyer, Tim Danson, said Ontario's Superior Court of Justice scheduled the hearing for Sept. 24, 2012, if Bertuzzi is still playing in the NHL. The civil case will begin Oct. 22, 2012, if Bertuzzi is retired.

Moore is seeking more than $40 million in damages against Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks, who Bertuzzi was playing for at the time of the incident.

On March 8, 2004, Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind, punched him on the side of the head and then landed on top of him. Moore's head was driven into the ice, and Moore had to be carried off on a stretcher.

Moore, then playing for the Colorado Avalanche, suffered a concussion and broken bones in his neck, and the injury ended his career.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the final 13 regular-season games in the 2003-04 season and all of the postseason. He also was not allowed to play anywhere during the 2004-05 NHL lockout.

Bertuzzi was re-instated by the NHL before the 2005-06 season.

Stock Up

Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks: One of the question marks about the Canucks -- apart from whether they'll have enough defensemen to field a team from night to night -- is whether they have enough scoring depth to stay with the big boys in the Western Conference once the playoffs start. With Ryan Kesler having a breakout year and Mikael Samuelsson suddenly coming on strong, the answer seems to be an indisputable "yes." Samuelsson has shaken off a tepid first half and has points in five straight games (four goals, six assists) and six of seven.

Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs: It's not often that a Leaf ends up in the Stock Up category, but here's a nod to Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle who has six points in his past six games and is a plus-4 over that stretch. Kaberle's strong play has coincided with a mini-playoff push for a Leafs team that looked like a draft lottery team a few weeks ago. The playoffs likely aren't in the cards for Toronto, but Kaberle's play will certainly make the veteran more attractive as the Feb. 28 trade deadline closes in. After much to-ing and fro-ing the past couple of years about Kaberle's future or lack thereof in Toronto, it appears this will finally be the moment when Kaberle bids adieu to the blue and white for whom he's toiled his entire NHL career. Lots of suitors for his talents, now it's just a question of where he lands.

Stock Down

Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings: After providing important depth scoring last season when the injury-plagued Red Wings needed all hands on deck to make the playoffs, veteran Todd Bertuzzi's production has slowed this season. Bertuzzi had 18 goals a year ago but has just eight this season and just one goal in his past 14 games.

Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche: The bottom has fallen out on the high-flying Avs as they have lost seven of eight and fallen into a tie for 13th in the Western Conference. Injuries continue to plague the team and netminder Craig Anderson has returned from the team's current road trip for personal reasons. Rookie of the year nominee last season Matt Duchene has also seen his production slow of late as he has just one goal in his past seven games. The gifted forward has not scored a power-play goal in 18 outings.