DETROIT - Since Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber slammed Detroit Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass in Game 1, the Predators-Wings quarterfinal series has been rather quiet.
At least, far more quiet than the other slam-happy series.
But that changed Tuesday before Game 4 in Detroit with the explosion of the Ping-Pong Crisis.
Reports suggested Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi got into it with some Nashville players who were using the ping-pong tables in the hallway outside the Red Wings' dressing room, tables reserved for the local team. One rumour had Bertuzzi actually moving the table.
Bertuzzi saw the Nashville players were interested in playing and informed an arena security guard, who told the players, Roman Josi and Brandon Yip, that the tables were off limits. Territory in the hall around the team's dressing rooms is out of bounds for opposing players.
Wings' coach Mike Babcock was asked if it did, in fact, happen?
A team spokesman yelled out, "no." Babcock laughed.
"So that's why stuff like that is rumours," he said. "Lots of the rumours that are going around, honest to God, when I'm bored, I start them to get them going."
Predators' coach Barry Trotz was also amused.
"If they want a ping pong table in Nashville, I'm more than willing to give them one," Trotz said. "It's their toys. We have our toys."