DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ optional skate at Joe Louis Arena on Monday morning.
Brendan Smith finally addressed the on-ice altercation he has with Zdeno Chara near the end of the first period of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
“I want to stand up for myself and standup for my teammates and I will,” Smith said. “I’m not saying I won’t, but I’ll do it between the whistles. You don’t have to do stuff after the whistles. I’ve learned that in the last little bit.”
Smith and Chara squared off and appeared to be close to dropping the gloves had it not been for a linesman stepping in between.
“A lot of times you try and grab someone before they get into the pile to make sure someone doesn’t get in there and get a cheap shot,” Smith said. “I think he came right over to me and that’s how it started.
“It’s all spur of the moment kind of stuff,” Smith continued. “There was a lot said. I really don’t even think about it. I can’t even remember to be honest with you. Everyone is dwelling on it, but this is what it’s like in the playoffs.
Chara, who’s 6-foot-9, had a grin on his face the whole time during the altercation.
“We’re not saying we’re going to back down, but the best way for us to be victorious in the end is to play between the whistles,” Smith said. “That’s what I’m saying. Guys like (Justin) Abdelkader, myself and (Kyle) Quincey, we’re not going to back down, but we’re not going to hurt our team because there’s no point to it.”
Boston had the second most fighting majors during the regular season with 46. The Wings had a league low seven.
Chara had two fighting majors this season as did Smith.
“You want to play tough and hard between the whistles,” Smith said. “After the whistles we’d like the refs to take a little more control of that. Maybe that was a first test so we’ll see what happens. Where you score is between the whistles and that’s what we need to focus on. All this stuff after the whistles doesn’t mean anything to us.”
Of the seven penalties the Wings drew Sunday, four were for roughing.
“Emotions are running high,” Darren Helm said. “(Milan) Lucic said it pretty well after he got (Danny) DeKeyser, emotions sometimes get the best of you. Last night I thought that’s what happened. Emotions are running high, we got into some scrums that we shouldn’t be getting into. We’re a team that plays between the whistles, not after the whistles.”
“It’s a lot of emotions out there,’ Gustav Nyquist said. “It’s the playoffs. They like to get involved after the whistles a lot. We’re standing up for ourselves. It’s just how it is in the playoffs. There are a lot of emotions.”