If signing Shea Weber to a long-term contract was important before, it’s vital now that Ryan Suter has decided to take his talents to St. Paul, Minnesota.
“I’m going to turn my attention to that, and I’ve told to Shea on numerous occasions he’s the captain of our team. I want to build our team around him.” Predators GM David Poile said in a report from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean. “He has been terrific in the captain’s role, as a player. I hope he will re-sign with us.”
Weber has been a bigger part of the Predators’ team than Suter. Weber is their team captain, a two-time Norris Trophy finalist, and over the last three years he has bested Suter in goals, points, hits, and blocked shots.
All the same, losing Suter is a big blow and the question now is if Poile can convince Weber to stay even after failing to re-sign his long-time teammate and fellow all-star defenseman.
It would help if Poile took steps to fill the void left by Suter, but that won’t be an easy task. There’s not a whole lot left on the unrestricted free agent market. They have the trade chips necessary to make a big splash, but it’s not clear if Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester or any appealing defensemen will become available.
For what it’s worth, the Predators do have some promising young blueliners in Jonathon Blum and Ryan Ellis. Losing Suter is something that they might be able to overcome, but they have to convince Weber of that. Otherwise, it might not be long before they’re trying to fill the void left by two all-star defensemen.
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Watch that three-goal burst in this video:
The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.