Shea Weber

Columnist makes Shea Weber’s Norris Trophy case

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For those who lean more toward the defensive end of the Norris Trophy argument, a growing debate has emerged: should the award go to Boston Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara or Nashville Predators stalwart Shea Weber? The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples gave Weber a slight edge in his study of the three candidates, placing Ottawa Senators offensive dynamo Erik Karlsson in third.

If a defenceman is doing his job defensively, he’s stopping opposing attackers by rubbing them out against the boards and taking the puck away. He covers his man in front of the net.

He denies passes to the slot. On two-on-ones, he denies the deadly pass across, while forcing a shot as far out of the slot as possible. He joins in the attack, but doesn’t make sloppy turnovers, nor does he make rash pinches in the neutral or attacking zones that lead to odd-man rushes.

By these measures, Weber did the best of the three finalists.

In a way, you can make an argument for all three candidates. Weber was one of the Predators’ leading offensive catalysts – not just with the “for a defenseman” qualifier – along with being a great asset in his own zone. Chara’s defensive prowess and slapper cannot be denied while one can easily argue that Karlsson’s offensive genius easily makes up for own-zone hiccups.

Weber may indeed be the best choice, but either way, Staples provides an interesting discussion of the trio, even gauging whether they were to blame for the goals that were scored when they were on the ice.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”