When Ryan Suter bolted from the Nashville Predators to sign a monster contract with the Minnesota Wild over the summer, many wondered if he could survive without his defensive partner, Shea Weber. Very few wondered if perhaps Weber would struggle without Suter.
It’s been a tale of two seasons for the league’s former best defensive pairing. Suter is beginning to thrive in Minnesota, while Weber and the Preds are enduring some monster struggles in almost every aspect of the game in 2013.
Suter’s start to the season wasn’t terrific. He was putting up points, but his defensive play wasn’t overly impressive. It’s probably safe to say that almost two full months into the season, he has his game on track. The Wild are looking like a team that may not only contend for the playoffs, but could take the division crown. Suter is a big reason why.
Suter has 18 points so far on the season. His play of late has been particularly impressive, mostly as far as his numbers are concerned. Prior to Tuesday night, Suter had boasted a point streak of seven games, with nine of his 18 points coming over that stretch.
That’s not to say that Suter has been flawless. In fact, his Corsi is the worst it’s been in his career. His play in his own zone hasn’t been the greatest, but he’s been paired with a rookie for the majority of the year, rather than a Norris Trophy candidate. Even with that in mind, he’s been playing better than most could have expected without Weber next to him.
Weber hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t looked like the top tier d-man we’ve seen in recent years. The subtraction of Suter from the equation probably has something to do with that.