Shea Weber is a bonecrusher on the blue line for the Nashville Predators. On Wednesday night he was a bonehead as he tried some skull crushing at the end of a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The action should cost him dearly.
While on a power play in the closing seconds of the third period, the Detroit Red Wings had pulled goalie Jimmy Howard from his net and were skating with six men in a desperate attempt to tie the game and force overtime.
After Nashville won a defensive zone face off with 5.1 seconds left in the game, the puck bounced into the corner to the right of Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. Weber was against the boards trying to tie up the puck and close out the game. Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg came flying into the play near Weber and seemingly went right after the puck, but Weber thought otherwise and was angered by something he thought Zetterberg had done.
As the puck moved on down the boards along with Zetterberg's attention, Weber became enraged by this apparent transgression and punched Zetterberg in the back of the helmet. Shockingly, Weber then grabbed Zetterberg by the back of the head and shoved him face first into the glass, stunning the Swedish forward as he fell to the ice. One linesmen was a perfect eye witness to the blatant violation, and separated Weber from his victim as time expired.
A two minute roughing penalty was called on the play, but the game had already ended. No penalties from a previous game can carry over into the next game. So the referees cannot make Weber start Game 2 in the penalty box.
NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan should make Weber start Game 2 in the owner's box instead. In my opinion, Weber should not play again for the Nashville Predators until Game 7, when this series would return to Bridgestone Arena for the final game, if necessary.
Weber's action was not a hockey play. Weber was not attempting to simply check Zetterberg. as if they were in a playoff game. It was a malicious act. Weber appeared to be attempting to injure Zetterberg.
Luckily, Zetterberg did not appear badly injured.
Shanahan and the NHL have enough problems dealing with concussions and other serious injuries caused by blatant elbows, errant knees, and hits to the head. They shouldn't have to worry about injuries caused by heads being slammed into the glass.
Shanahan needs to hit Shea Weber with an attention grabbing suspension.