So far, the Shea Weber-P.K. Subban swap is looking pretty good for the Montreal Canadiens.
The Habs are off to an NHL-best 8-0-1 start, and Weber has been a big part of the team’s success. After picking up five points (3-2-5), including two game-winning goals, Weber has been named the NHL’s third star of the week.
The NHL Three Stars of the Week:
1. Craig Anderson
2. Devan Dubnyk
3. Shea Weberhttps://t.co/r1Twev0cmX
— #HockeyFightsCancer (@NHL) October 31, 2016
Weber was the only skater to make the podium this week, slotting in behind two goaltenders who didn’t allow a goal.
Devan Dubnyk posted three straight shutouts, setting a franchise-record in Minnesota for both consecutive shutouts and total time without allowing a goal.
Meanwhile, Craig Anderson posted a shutout, took a leave of absence to be with his wife, who is battling cancer. He came back to post another shutout, a 37-save effort against the Edmonton Oilers.
Weber would have been hard-pressed to beat either of those two this week, but he had a great week as part of his best-ever start to a season. He posted consecutive two-point games against Philadelphia and the New York Islanders, was held off the scoresheet in Tampa Bay but came back to score the game-winner against Toronto.
Shea Weber's bomb from the point gives the #Habs a lead.
Props to Andersen for not bailing. I would have. pic.twitter.com/WhHjVwhhTc
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 30, 2016
With a total of 10 points through nine games, Weber has a share of the scoring lead among defencemen, along with Brent Burns and Ryan Sutter. He’s only two points off Connor McDavid and Claude Giroux, the current NHL scoring leaders.
Weber also leads defencemen in plus/minus with a +12 rating, which is already more than half of his career-best +21 rating over a full season.
He’s on pace to shatter his career highs in both of those categories. Obviously, it’s highly unlikely he finishes the season at his current pace (he would have 91 points and a +109 rating), but the hot start is evidence Weber is adjusting to the Canadiens system seamlessly.
The same can’t be said for Subban, who has a respectable five points in eight games, but a terrible -7 rating (one off league-worst). Four of his five points have come on the power play, so Subban has really struggled at even-strength play so far in Nashville.
Last year, analytic experts were saying Weber’s best playing days were behind him. As it looks right now, all he needed was a change of scenery to get back to his elite form.
Weber and the Canadiens will try to keep the hot streak going when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.