Nashville GM Poile on slumping Weber: ‘He’s going to produce’


Shea Weber is pointless through nine games this season, a troubling start for a guy that’s scored at least 16 goals and 43 points in four straight seasons.

One person not troubled by the start, though, is Weber’s general manager — David Poile.

“He’s going to produce,” Poile told Fox Sports Tennessee. “Iknow that’s going to happen. Again, the way he bombs the puck — he missed the net a few times — being a little bit more accurate, he can beat goaltenders.

“They can’t contain the shot. There’s a rebound. It’s going to be there.”

Poile’s rationale for this soon-to-happen turnaround?

Weber’s getting closer to finding his comfort level.

This season marked a big change for the 27-year-old rearguard — for the first time in seven seasons, he was without his trusty, reliable defense partner, Ryan Suter.

Preds head coach Barry Trotz tried to replace Suter with Roman Josi, but the inexperience (and offensive-minded) Swiss defenseman wasn’t an ideal fit for Weber, who was Nashville’s third-leading goalscorer (19) last season.

Now, Weber’s paired with stay-at-home defenseman Scott Hannan.

There’s also the issue of the power play, where Suter used to play setup man to Weber’s bombs-away style.

Nashville has plugged another playmaking type, Ryan Ellis, into Suter’s spot, but it’s clear he’ll need more than nine games to try and replicate the chemistry Suter and Weber developed over seven years.

Poile says all of this has likely played a role in Weber’s decreased production.

“It has to certainly be part of it,” he explained. “Now [Weber’s] played with a couple of different guys with his partners and on the power play. I’m sure there’s some adjustment to that, yes.”

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?