Friday, November 18, 2011
Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are often mentioned as being the top defensive pairing in the NHL. Their numbers are reflecting that so far this season.
Weber leads the league in plus-minus at plus-18, and Suter is tied for second in the league with Boston's Tyler Seguin at plus-15.
Given that Weber and Suter play against the opposition's top line on a nightly basis, that stat is particularly impressive. Weber's sole concern, however, is the performance of the team.
"I try not to think about it. We're just worried about the team winning and the team's success and personal stuff will come after that," Weber said.
Barry Trotz, however, is very impressed with Weber and Suter's plus-minus record. Leading the league in plus-minus when you play against the opposition's best each night is tough to do, but Weber has been on a roll so far this year.
"He's playing against the top guys every night, and to be leading the league in plus-minus is pretty substantial," Trotz said.
One thing that has allowed Weber and Suter to thrive in the plus-minus area is that Suter already has four goals on the year, which is tied with his goal total for all of last year.
"I think he's shooting the puck great. He's getting chances and he's capitalizing on them," Weber said.
Opposing teams are finding that defending the offensive capability of Weber and Suter can be a double-edged sword. If teams try and take Weber's booming shot away, Suter has more room to shoot. Once teams shift to guard Suter, it opens the lane for Weber's shot.
"If they shade Shea, then (Suter) is going to shoot more. He's going to be a part of it more," Trotz said.
"Suter can score as many as Weber. He'll just probably not score them with a big shot. He'll score by his ability to get closer to the net and put pucks there," Trotz said.
If Weber and Suter's dominance continues, it spells good things for Nashville going forward. They'll face another top line on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Posted by Robby Stanley at 12:30 PM