SAN JOSE – It’s one thing to get hit in the head by a slap shot. It’s another when that slap shot originates off of the stick of Shea Weber.
Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was struck squarely in the visor by a Weber blast with about 13 minutes to go in the third period of San Jose’s 3-2 win on Sunday night at SAP Center. He remained down on the ice for several moments before finally getting up under his own power and making his way back to the bench.
Vlasic didn’t miss a shift after the scare, and seemed no worse for wear after the game.
“I think it dented my visor in and hit my cheek. I’m OK,” Vlasic said.
Camped out near the crease, Vlasic had no time to react from the shot that came from high in the zone on a Predators power play, with the Sharks protecting a 1-0 lead at the time.
Weber clocked the NHL’s hardest shot at the most recent skills competition in January, at 108.1 miles-per-hour. In 2005, he reached 108.5 MPH.
“Oh, no, 108 MPH, I guess you don’t see it,” Vlasic said. “But part of blocking shots, isn’t it?”
Pete DeBoer said: "He got fortunate. It was Shea Weber's slap shot off the head. Thankfully, these guys wear helmets."
Vlasic ended up skating 24 minutes and three seconds, tops on the Sharks, as they took a two-games-to-none lead in their second round series with Nashville.
The Predators were tied for the league’s the highest-scoring NHL defense group in the regular season with 203 points. Although Weber is scoreless, in Game 2 Mattias Ekholm tallied the time-tying goal in the third period, while Roman Josi has three assists in the series.
“They’re creating a lot,” Vlasic said. “Josi is skating the puck a lot, they’re creating on the power play. In our end, [their D] are always roaming around. We can do a better job closing on them, keeping them off the puck. Every time you can, finish them.”
In seven games, Vlasic has two assists and a team-high plus-five rating.