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The Detroit Red Wings don't exactly have a roster full of enforcers. That responsibility usually falls to veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi, like when he had Shea Weber answer for his #webering of Henrik Zetterberg.
Apparently, his responsibilities as an enforcer extend off the ice as well … all the way to the ping-pong table.
The Detroit Red Wings have a ping-pong table set up in a hallway between their dressing room and the visitor's dressing room at Joe Louis Arena. Dave Strader of NHL.com reported that some Nashville Predators players wanted to use the table on Monday, an off-day for their first-round Western Conference quarterfinal.
"Todd Bertuzzi saw this and then told them if they wanted to play, they needed their own table, and then folded up the table and rolled it into the Wings locker room."
A defiant Shea Weber then slammed a ping pong ball with his paddle, turning both into dust and causing a sonic boom inside of Detroit. (Kidding … we think.)
Teams can get very territorial in the bowels of their arena. Please recall the soccer incident between the Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues, in which the Blues players got a little too close to RJ Umberger and his Columbus teammates during a pregame kick-around.
No word if the Predators will chase away the Red Wings if they dare play a game of horseshoes or beer pong outside of their locker room in Nashville ...
UPDATE: Alas, too good to be totally true. From the Detroit Free Press:
"I came out of our room, saw some of their guys wanting to play on our Ping Pong tables and told security," Bertuzzi told the Free Press. "I didn't do anything else. I didn't move the table myself."
Rumors that Bertuzzi had personally packed up the table and wheeled it away swirled around the morning skates today. The Wings host the Predators at 7:30 (NBCSN, FSD) in Game 4 looking to even the first-round series. No one among the Wings had heard of Ping Pong Gate, but greeted it with delight.