Henrik Zetterberg is led off the ice by linesman Brian Mach (78) after the Wings' center received a game-misconduct for an accidental play resulted in an injury to a Columbus player. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
Henrik Zetterberg’s classroom behavior was never an issue during his adolescent years in Sweden. And the same can still be said for his NHL career, though Sunday he received a call about it from the principal’s office.
“Never been called, that was my first,” said Zetterberg, of the phone call from Brendan Shanahan, the league’s headmaster of discipline. “I’m glad that it was Shanny.”
The call from his former Wings' teammate was more of a fact-finding mission to get Zetterberg’s side of Saturday’s story when he earned the first game-misconduct of his career, stemming from a incident when Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin fall awkwardly into the end board in the third period.
According to the Blue Jackets’ Twitter account, Nikitin is expected to miss at least two games with a knee injury.
As both players raced for the puck in the corner, Zetterberg had his left hand on Nikitin's back, but replay clearly shows that the fall was accidental.
“I didn’t think that I touched him that hard and I guess he went down mainly on his own,” Zetterberg said. “It looked bad, but I’m glad that I didn’t end up with any suspension.”
After the initial call, Zetterberg had to wait for the league’s decision and Shanahan’s fallow-up call.
“He asked my side of the story and I guess he called Nikita, too,” Zetterberg said. “He needed to hear my side of the story and then I guess they sit down and discuss it and make a decision.”