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Predators lose in Shea Weber’s return

Jan 5, 2012, 11:21 PM EDT

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Shea Weber Getty Images

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.

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