It truly was a bizarre scene at the Honda Center on Tuesday night when Anaheim Ducks
defenseman Scott Niedermayer
and Detroit Red Wings
forward Pavel Datsyuk
dropped the gloves just moments after the final horn sounded on Anaheim's 2-1 victory in Game 6.
Niedermayer, who caught Datsyuk with an elbow moments before the gloves came off, was willing to discuss the incident afterwards. Datsyuk? Not so much.
"There was a lot going on," Niedermayer said. "I don't know how it all started. The next thing you know, my gloves are off. That doesn't happen too often. I didn't even know who it was at first. I took a couple of punches to the face. I guess after a couple, I figured I'll try a couple."
Datsyuk -- a 2009 finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play -- was still less than amused when the Red Wings' plane touched down in Detroit late Wednesday afternoon.
"Why talk about it?" said Datsyuk, who has been held without a goal in this series. "He let them off, like that? Awesome. Ignore it. Ignore his game."
Perhaps this will all go away once the puck drops in Game 7 on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. From the sound of it, the Wings are hopeful it will end without any rough stuff. They certainly held their collective breath on the bench not only watching the Datsyuk-Niedermayer bout, but also the fact that Brian Rafalski
took some shots to the head from Ducks forward Corey Perry
. Rafalski missed the first five games of the series before returning to the lineup for Game 6.
"When you've got our best players … Pavel getting kind of manhandled and Raffie as well, it just seems like at the end of every game there's always something going on," Detroit forward Kirk Maltby
said. "You just put it in the back of your mind and worry about the game tomorrow.
"It seems like a lot of our games have been ending in skirmishes. For us, the best way to answer that is to try and win this next game and put it to rest. We're not happy with maybe a few liberties, but the past is the past."
Maltby was asked if he believes the Ducks were trying to send a message at the conclusion of Tuesday's game, which saw eight penalties handed out.
"I don't know what the message is … it seems like a daily occurrence at the end of games with these guys," he said. "They play the way they play and do what they feel is necessary to get an edge. For us, it's about just doing what we're supposed to do. We can't respond to certain things."