The 2017-18 season wasn’t a fun one for Shea Weber. On opening night he blocked a shot versus the Buffalo Sabres, and the impact caused a fracture. Normally trusted with around 25 minutes per night, he was reduced to time in the low 20s as he attempted to work through the pain, but in mid-December the decision was reached to shut him down for the remainder of the season.
Just pulling him from game action wasn’t enough to heal the injury, and surgery was opted for to correct the foot issue, and a minor one with his knee, once a dreadful campaign came to its conclusion.
Weber woke up from his surgeries to the news that the knee ailment had been more serious than initially thought. What he had expected to be a short recovery was instead one that would force him to miss even more game action, projected to miss a full calendar year of play.
October 1, 2018: Montreal Canadiens name Shea Weber captain
Despite knowing he wouldn’t have an impact on the ice for the opening third of the year, the decision was made to name Weber as the new captain; an outcome that many anticipated after Max Pacioretty had been traded away a few weeks earlier, although Brendan Gallagher was in that running as well.
November 22, 2018: Claude Julien: Shea Weber could return to the lineup next week
Fortunately for a Canadiens team that was fighting to hold on to a playoff position, Weber’s recovery was quicker than expected, getting back into action before November came to a close.
The defence was doing its best to keep the team afloat in Weber’s absence, but there a few critical areas where the big defender was sorely missed; namely defending the front of the net and providing a blue-line threat in the offensive zone.
With Weber back in the lineup, the Canadiens began to climb from a fringe post-season position to being a seeded club in the East. It was therefore a major concern when the captain took a puck in the face in early January. Thankfully, this impact didn’t lead to a fracture, and the defenceman was able to continue playing for one of the hottest teams in the league.
August 19, 2019: Once healthy, Shea Weber’s value to the Canadiens remained high
We had known the Canadiens were a strong five-on-five team in the regular season (with the power play never really getting solved even with Weber back at the point, and that proved their undoing). However, when looking at the numbers from Weber’s return on November 27, Montreal was one of the best full-strength teams in the NHL once they had their defence corps intact.
August 21, 2019: What does Father Time have in store for Shea Weber?
It’s good news that the various injuries Weber has dealt with in his short time in Montreal haven’t taken away from his play. But how much longer will that last for a player who recently turned 34? He may not be the same player he was in his late 20s, but he’s defying the typical trend for players at his position, showing a more gradual decline than what is often seen for blue-liners his age. As long as he can continue to play his game, alongside complementary players who make up for any drops in his ability, he will be a key part of the organization for several years to come.
Grade Shea Weber’s season
This poll is closed