Its starting to get pretty clear that Shea Weber is really living up to the hype that has surrounded him for the last few years.
One memorable moment of mine was in the 2006 playoffs against San Jose when Shea absolutely laid out Milan Michalak. Shea went flying into his own bench and Michalak appeared to be shaken up.
Then in the 2007 playoffs, head coach Barry Trotz paired Weber up with Kimmo Timonen to take on the line of Clowe-Thornton-Michalak with Weber to be matched up to Big Joe. I hate to say it, but that line probably got to the best of Shea and Kimmo. Nevertheless, Shea ended up having a big assist on J.P. Dumont's game tying goal in game 2 with under a minute to go.
Weber's been known to be a solid all-round defenseman and has been in the constant debate about who would one rather have on their team, Weber or Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf. Both have played at the minor league level and established themselves as beasts. That debate has been split with a favourable advantage to Phaneuf, who is in his 4th full season and has proven to be pretty well developed since coming into the league. However, many, including Eklund, would prefer Shea Weber. Many see him with a bigger upside than Phaneuf.
No question though, both are big game players with heavy shots and the ability to lay devastating hits on the opponents. He can hit, he can score, he can fight (needs practice though), he can block shots, he can be physical in the corners or defending in front of the net...and so on.
But like I said, Weber has started to show his true potential after missing the first two months of last season with a knee injury. He, along with teammate Ryan Suter, have logged ice time minutes in the mid 20's with having gone to or close to 30 minutes a couple of times.
He's notched 7 points in 6 games so far this season and had a 4 point night in the Preds last game vs CBJ. This team will really need his big shot on the PP with the likelihood of decreased offensive production this season. His intensity will be needed to spark the team or set the tone of a game.
One thing we know he can improve on is staying in position and not getting himself lost on the ice in his own zone. We saw countless amounts of that last season involving not only Weber but the rest of the Preds defense too.
A lot of his progress will be determined on his mental development. He or this team can't afford to get caught up in a situation which we all know can lead to dumb penalties being taken....which is another thing to be noted about Shea. Discipline is key and you'd think that a coach like Trotz would be incredibly disappointed if bad penalties get taken but those have been taken by this team for the last couple years. If you saw opening night against STL, you'll know what I mean.
Nevertheless, I expect big things from Weber this year. We'll need everything we can get from him this year.