March 20, 2011
How hard does Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber(notes) shoot the puck? Hard enough to have almost toppled Zdeno Chara at the NHL All-Star skills competition. Hard enough to have ripped a puck through the net in the Olympics. And hard enough to humble a penalty killer with a blast on the power play.
On Saturday night, that penalty killer was Patrick Eaves(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings, who took a Weber shot and went down in a heap. Rather than see his team face a 5-on-3 disadvantage, Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall(notes) took matters into his own hands … or in this case, on his stick.
Suppose Eaves should be thanking Kronwall. And by that we mean for not trying to slap-shoot him to the bench to save time.
Eaves, early in the second period, took a blast from Weber off his left ankle during a Nashville power play. He returned later in the period, finished the game and said he's fine.
"Just bruised, doesn't feel good,'' Eaves said. "He can really hum the puck. I think he got all of that one.''
Meanwhile, Kronwall is available for rental as a ride at a child's skating party or to clear leaves from your driveway next fall. That is, if he doesn't transition to a career in Human Shuffleboard.