P.K. Subban

Subban on being a healthy scratch: “It’s embarrassing”


Randy Cunneyworth’s inability to speak French is the least of PK Subban’s concerns.

He’s got to figure out how to get back in Cunneyworth’s good graces — in any language.

Last Thursday, Cunneyworth made his first bold move as head coach (check that, interim head coach) by scratching Subban and center Lars Eller for a game in Winnipeg, which Montreal lost 4-0.

“You don’t want to be a healthy scratch and when you are it’s embarrassing,” Subban told the Globe and Mail. “You’re walking through the airport going home and you don’t even want to look at anybody, because people put so much hope in you as playing and helping the team.

“You want to help the team. And when they don’t think you can do the job, it’s embarrassing. It’s not fun. But it’s not my decision on whether I play or not, so when I get the opportunity I just show up.”

Even though he declined to speak with reporters today, Subban looks as though he’ll rejoin the Habs lineup tonight against Ottawa (he was paired with Josh Gorges and back on the powerplay point during practice.)

And assuming Subban’s back in, the focus will undoubtedly be on his response. Even though he was minus-4 in consecutive losses to Boston and Chicago after careless giveaways on key goals, sitting him out was deemed an extreme measure. Subban leads all Canadiens in average ice time (23:59) and mans both the powerplay and penalty kill.

“I don’t ever want to be a healthy scratch again,” he said. “I shouldn’t be.

“When it happens it’s embarrassing. There’s no other word. I’m not angry, not sad, not mad at myself. It’s just embarrassing.”

Update: Evgeni Malkin is still a bad man

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Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.

Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?

Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see above.

This continues a red-hot streak for Malkin. Tonight’s goal and assist (and counting?) stretches his scoring streak to four games, each with at least one goal.

Malkin came into Tuesday with 10 points in his last six games as well, so … yeah, no. 71 is feeling it right now.

Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

NBCSN screen

You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Update: Did Hamilton picture all the negative headlines and harness that energy for a greater good? He scored the game-tying goal as Calgary upset Dallas 4-3 via a shootout.