After last night’s game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, Capitals defenseman Mike Weber should be viewing games from the press box for the rest of the season and playoffs.
First, he took an easily avoidable two-minute roughing call after being given a shove into the Caps’ net by Penguins forward Bryan Rust, then he received a five-minute major and ten-minute game misconduct that resulted in a Pittsburgh power play goal and put the game all-but out of reach for the Caps. Despite looking worthy of a suspension, Weber will not receive a disciplinary hearing for the hit, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, While he did play fine defensively, Weber simply cannot be relied on during a full 60-minute game.
For starters, Weber isn’t the fastest of skaters, and it isn’t easy to pivot on a 6’2″, 217-pound frame. While he did make some solid defensive plays, he simply is too slow to keep up with the NHL’s faster offensive players. In 35 games with Buffalo prior to being dealt to the Caps, Weber had one goal, five points, and was a plus-3. In just seven games with the Capitals, Weber has no points and is an even plus/minus. However, he has 20 giveaways this season, compared to just two takeaways and has a 42.9% Corsi rating.
While he can be a force physically and decent defensively, Weber’s statistics show that playing him even occasionally can be risky. The Caps have Taylor Chorney, who has proven all season that he can be relied upon, to provide solid defensive depth and Weber can be played in games that will likely get nasty (such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York Rangers, etc). The Caps must get worth out of Weber, as they sent a 2017 third-round pick to Buffalo to get him. Weber has pluses, but his slow skating, untimely penalties, and potentially reckless physical play are things that the Caps cannot afford to have if they hope to win the Stanley Cup.
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