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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Todd Bertuzzi is taking the Wings' ping pong ball and going home

The Red Wings' Todd Bertuzzi may have endeared himself to fans much quicker than any of his circus shootout goals this season when he reportedly asked security at Joe Louis Arena to stop Nashville Predators players from using the team's table tennis equipment after Monday's practice.
The table tennis set reportedly resides in the hallway between the home and visiting locker rooms at the arena.
The Wings' defacto enforcer, as seen in Friday's Game 2 when he went toe to toe with Shea Weber, exercised the same calculated thinking used in those aforementioned shootouts to preserve the sanctity of the Red Wings' ritual.
Former Wings TV play-by-play announcer Dave Strader grew Bertuzzi's legend, saying he simply folded up the table and wheeled it into storage.
The Nashville response seemed a bit retaliatory:
“If they want a ping pong table in Nashville, I’m more than willing to give them one,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s their toys. We have our toys, all those things, a Ping-Pong table, our balls. We’re OK. We’ve got a soccer ball. We have our things that we do. There’s nothing really to it. That’s their decision, it’s their toy.”
A Nashville spokesperson reportedly compared the situation to a visiting team using the home team's workout facilities. The Free Press also noted:
"The Wings feel it's only fair to keep the Predators away from their hallway, as the Predators won't allow the Wings to walk through the hallway outside their locker room at Bridgestone Arena, forcing the Wings to walk around to exit."
So it seems the situation really is as childish as it seems, but I can't blame Bertuzzi, security or the Wings for wanting to keep their "toy" to themselves after the bad blood that has developed during this series.
Could it be just the next thing in a series of events that turns the momentum in this series?


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