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Top Ten Detroit Red Wings Current Rivals: No. 3

November 12th, 2012 at 8:36 PM
By Frank Vajcner

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part 8 of 10 in a series on rivalries. Red Wings 101 will count down the top ten current rivals of the Detroit Red Wings. Fans are encouraged to comment with memories from past games that they may have seen in the past.)

This next rivalry is the newest on the list. It is also probably built on mutual respect than any other team on the list. Checking in at number 3:

No. 3: Nashville Predators

Since the Predators came into the NHL in 1999, head coach Barry Trotz has always looked up to the Red Wings as the standard to follow in the NHL. Nashville has often been considered the "little brother" of the Red Wings (not from a Mike Hart standpoint for any Michigan football fans reading this). Despite the respect that exists, there have been rising tensions between the two teams.

They have met three times in the playoffs, with the Red Wings winning in the first round in 2004 in six games, courtesy of a Game 6 shutout from Curtis Joseph.

They met again in 2008, and with the series deadlocked at two games a piece, Mike Babcock elected to start Chris Osgood in net for Game 5 after two subpar performances from Dominik Hasek. The game remained tied after 60 minutes thanks to a goaltending duel between Osgood and Nashville's Dan Ellis. In overtime, it was Johan Franzen beating Ellis on a breakaway goal for the win. The Red Wings would go on to win the series in Game 6, once again courtesy of a Game 6 shutout; this time from Osgood.

DEFINING MOMENT: The defining moment came in the 2012 playoffs when both teams met again. This time it was the Predators who had the upper hand heading into the series. In Game 1, with the Predators clinging to a 3-2 lead, Paul Gaustad won the final faceoff from Henrik Zetterberg. The puck went to Shea Weber, who simply held it against the boards. Zetterberg came over to free the puck, but Weber grabbed him and slammed his head into the glass.

Zetterberg was not injured as a result of the act. Red Wings' fans screamed for Weber to be suspended, but he was only fined $2500. Todd Bertuzzi would take the law into his own hands in Game 2, which the Red Wings won. Nashville would go on to win the next three games to win the series. It was also after Game 5 where Trotz walked up to Nick Lidstrom in the handshake line and asked him to not retire, and the rest is history.

Honorable mention goes to Bertuzzi fighting Shane O'Brien not once, but twice in the same game in 2011. Both players were ejected as a result.

THE RUNDOWN.

 

No. 10: Montreal Canadiens

No. 9: Toronto Maple Leafs

No. 8: Vancouver Canucks

No. 7: Anaheim Ducks

No. 6: St. Louis Blues

No. 5: Pittsburgh Penguins

No. 4: San Jose Sharks

Tags: Chris Osgood, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Dominik Hasek, Hockey, Johan Franzen, NHL, Nick Lidstrom, Todd Bertuzzi

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