To some people, P.K. Subban might be experiencing a “sophomore slump.”
Such criticisms seem fairer for forwards than defensemen, especially ones as young as 22-year-old blueliner Subban. One can equate his struggles with those of Tyler Myers; they’re two youngsters who were asked to play big minutes on somewhat thin rosters rather than develop in more natural increments.*
Of course, the big difference between Subban and Myers is that the former happens to bring a whole lot more heat – from both the media and his opponents – than his nearly Chara-sized counterpart. Subban received a fine for his slew foot on Chris Kunitz and has butted heads with the Montreal Canadiens’ coaching staff as well as teammate Tomas Plekanec.
“I’m young and I’ve made mistakes and I’m going to make more,” Subban said. “The coaching staff have got their work cut out. But hopefully I’ll do more positive things than negative. As long as I’m willing to learn.”
To some, that’s just typical cliched speak, and that might be partially true. Still, if you ask any hockey person, they’ll say that defense presents the steepest learning curve of an position, so Subban deserves some time.
Even if the mistakes never completely leave – an undeniable possibility – that’s simply part of the equation with some attacking blueliners. It’s all about making the good outweigh the bad and the Habs hope that Subban’s pros tower over his cons in the long run.
* – Subban leads the Montreal Canadiens in ice time with almost 24 minutes per game, averaging almost a minute and a half more than second place Josh Gorges.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.