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.”
Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style