The Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 Friday to even their first round playoff series 1-1. There’s happiness in Smashville for the Predators, who blew a three-goal lead Wednesday to lose to Chicago in double overtime. They’re back in the series! Huzzah!
Oh yeah, and Shea Weber was injured midway through the second period with a lower body injury, left the game and didn’t return.
The video of the clean hit by Brandon Saad on Weber that appeared to lead to the injury:
If there was one player on the Predators – not named Pekka Rinne – who could not get hurt, it would be Weber. He’s had better years than this past season where he had 15 goals and 45 points along with meh possession numbers.
But he plays 26:22 per-night. He’s Nashville’s captain. He has a freaking rocket for a shot. And now the Predators will be without him for who knows how long. According to Rinkside Report, there was no postgame update on Weber’s condition.
“You don’t know what they are or the significance of the injuries but certainly you never like to lose any player. You certainly don’t want to lose a guy who takes down as many minutes as [Weber] and the captain of your team” coach Peter Laviolette said after the game via quotes provided from the team’s media website.
Strangely, if there is one team that can withstand the loss of Weber specifically, it happens to be Nashville. Weber is a right-handed shot and the Predators are loaded with right-handed defensemen – between Ryan Ellis, Seth Jones and Cody Franson. And the Predators are solid on the left side between Roman Josi and advanced stat monster Mattias Ekholm.
But losing Weber and center Mike Fisher, who is out with his own lower body injury suffered in Game 1, may be too tough for the Predators against the Blackhawks.
Fisher is probably Nashville’s only center who can match Chicago’s Jonathan Toews minute-for-minute down the middle. Weber is Nashville’s strongest defenseman from a sheer physical standpoint. And the series is going to Chicago where Nashville can’t have the luxury of favorable match ups from the last line change.
The severity of the injuries is unknown, but both players are good, tough Canadian boys – noticing a playoff theme here? If both can’t play, something is clearly wrong. And it’s not good for Nashville. Then again, they did beat the Hawks 6-2 essentially without both players.
In these playoffs, sometimes you have to expect the unexpected.
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