NHL Playoffs 2012: Shea Weber Could Be Suspended for Cheap Shot on Zetterberg

Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IIApril 11, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 10:  Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators defends Darren Helm #43 of the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena on March 10, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Nashville Predators won their first game in the opening-round playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings, but it could come at a price.

At the end of the game Nashville would go on to win 3-2, Nashville captain and perennial James Norris Trophy candidate Shea Weber took an unnecessary penalty involving Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg.

The penalty was officially called a two-minute minor for roughing, but could certainly have more serious ramifications for a valuable member of the Predators.

With five seconds left in the game and the Red Wings down by one goal, a key faceoff took place. It was won cleanly by Nashville, but Detroit forwards skated after the puck in a desperate effort to create a last-second scoring chance.

As Zetterberg worked for possession of the puck against the end boards against Weber, the Nashville defenseman first threw a punch at Zetterberg, then grabbed the back of his head and pushed it directly into the glass.

This was absolutely not a hockey play.

It was not an accidental push into the glass from Weber as he attempted to jostle Zetterberg in an effort to win the cup.

It was not even a retaliatory play, or something that Weber had any reason to do to Zetterberg; the game was essentially over, and Zetterberg was not doing anything extraordinarily rough or dirty to Weber that would have made such an action understandable.

What the play comes down to is a momentary lack in self control by Weber that did nothing positive for his team, but could seriously hurt it.

Most teams are different without their captain in the lineup, a fact that is especially true for Nashville considering Weber's value.

Supplementary discipline is certainly a possibility, considering the only point of that play by Weber was a direct intent to cause harm to his opponent.

NHL fans should not be surprised if Weber is out for Game 2. This type of unprovoked cheap shot is not something the league needs in its game.



B/R Featured Columnist Jason Sapunka covers the NHL. He is available on Twitter for updates and analysis.