With Weber Out With Concussion What’s Next for Preds?
After a loss to the Stars on the 23rd, the Preds went into the break with an extra loss on their record but nothing more. Then suddenly on the morning of the 26th with the predators set to host the Wings terrible news hit Pred nation. The captain and arguably best defenseman in the NHL would be sitting out the game with an undisclosed injury. After review of the game in Dallas, fans found what may have caused the now made known concussion. Fistric of the Stars hit Weber in the corner in the dying minutes of the game, while there was no suspension on the play; it seemed to have been an elbow that caused the injury.
In Weber’s absence, highly regarded prospect Ryan Ellis, who is a familiar name in Canada after setting multiple records in the OHL and the World Juniors. While not expected to fill Weber’s shoes, there were certain expectations of Ellis coming into play. One was to be a force on the power play which has been highly effective for Nashville ranking 2nd in the league at 21%. The Preds did lose the game to the Wings in a contest where the score did not reflect the overall play. The Wings capitalized on their chances and Howard stood tall keeping the Preds from coming close, but even in a loss some was gained for the Preds.
With Weber out many thought that the team would buckle and get massacred, having 3 rookie defenseman in the line-up against a potent Wings team, but that didn’t happen. The defence stepped up and help their own except for a few minor gaffes that ended up costing them.
The real question is now what do the Preds do with Weber gone, especially if it is long term. The predators have struggled on defence this year and were already in need of some help, but now that has become the critical focus. Klein also missed the game as he had the flu, and was put on IR but could be back for Wednesday’s game against the Wild which would be a big boost to the D core. Poile now has a decision to make that could decide the season, he either waits and sees how his defence holds together, or goes out and makes a trade soon to help fix a problem that seems to be only getting worse.
Also, there is hope currently that Weber could play Friday against St. Louis as he has been feeling better, but will be checked more in the following days.