Shea Weber

Predators lose in Shea Weber’s return

Shea Weber’s concussion didn’t keep him out of the Nashville Predators’ lineup for very long, and to be honest, they did more than survive. The Preds actually went 3-1-0 in that tiny sample of games without their superstar defenseman.

Still, his interestingly-timed return against the very team that injured him* was likely a relief, even if the results weren’t great. The Predators dropped a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars while Weber’s night had its ups and downs. (Example: Weber told Josh Cooper that his conditioning seems fine, but his hands “weren’t quite where [he] wanted them to be.”)

On the negative side, he registered a -2 rating and couldn’t manage a point in the game. It’s possible that medium-sized rust might explain the situation – or maybe the Stars were just better.

That being said, Weber and the Preds can take some positives away from the experience. Barry Trotz didn’t exactly ease him back into the lineup as Weber was second only to his partner Ryan Suter in time on ice. (Weber played for just under 26 minutes while Suter registered a little more than 28.)

Dirk Hoag points to Weber’s +4 Corsi rating, which could indicate that more good things happened when he was on the ice than not, even if that plus/minus didn’t work out too well.

As we’ve seen with the bad side (Sidney Crosby) and the so-far good side (Claude Giroux) of concussion comebacks, Weber’s troubles aren’t necessarily over. The Predators will settle for him being back in the lineup for now, though.

* – I’d venture to say that Nashville is the only place where Mark Fistric morphs from semi-anonymous hitter to villainous defenseman, but I could be wrong.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.