Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/01/13 at 10:36 AM ET
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
It might seem curious that Team Canada would pass over as gifted a skater, stickhandler and shooter as Subban for a tournament on Olympic-sized ice, but doing so would surely owe to a tag that has stuck to him since he was a junior player: risky in his own end.
The stats don’t bear that out – by any measure, Subban is an above-average defender, and has shown elite defending ability in his career – but how can Steve Yzerman and the other Team Canada selectors trust Subban to be steady and reliable when there are recent indications the Habs have their doubts?
Earlier this week coach Michel Therrien sent Andrei Markov, Subban’s regular partner, out with Francis Bouillon in the final two minutes of a 2-0 game at Madison Square Garden.
On Tuesday, with Montreal clinging to a 2-1 lead against Dallas, Therrien nailed Subban to the bench for the final 2:56, and threw the statuesque Douglas Murray on the ice alongside Markov.
Though Dallas generated a couple of quick scoring chances, the Habs held on.
But Therrien’s decision to keep his stud defenceman off the ice raised eyebrows, and voices, on Montreal talk radio and in fan forums – all amid the usual circumspection, which is to say borderline hysteria.
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