Feb 7, 2013, 3:34 PM EDT
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.”
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