Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: pk subban
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban made a modest return to action on a perfect Super Bowl weekend. He was neither a commanding presence nor a step out of place, but rather one of a half-dozen blue-liners who contributed to a sweep of the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators.
And there’s not a thing wrong with that.
It’s just a shame, if you’re to believe one Hockey Night in Canada panellist, that Subban is disliked by everyone on his team, a young man who is profoundly troubled by the frosty shoulder of his teammates.
Presumably, this sadsack outcast dried his tears long enough to share meals Saturday and Sunday with Brandon Prust, then watch the Super Bowl at Josh Gorges’s home on Sunday with the rest of the Canadiens.
But we’ll come back to that.
MONTREAL - Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Monday the signing of defenseman P.K. Subban to a two-year contract (2012-13 to 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
His stock is falling with each Canadiens win.
Make no mistake about it — the Canadiens could be a better team with Subban filling one of the top four defence spots. But there’s no guarantee and Subban’s position becomes more difficult with each day he remains unsigned.
In an interview with colleague Dave Stubbs, Subban said he wants to be compensated for what he brings to the team on and off the ice. It’s seem a fair request, but the reality — as we pointed out here a week ago — is that life isn’t fair.
Young players like Subban have little in the way of bargaining power. The National Hockey League collective bargaining agreement limits what players can earn in their first three seasons. After that, many teams offer “bridge” contracts that give a player a chance to prove he deserves a rich, long-term deal in his third contract.
"I think it's ultimately heading toward a trade. They're just too far apart on the term of the contract - P.K. wants long, the Canadiens want two years - and they're probably at least $2.5 to $3 million per year apart on where they want to be. Ultimately I think this ends up in a trade."
-Bob McKenzie of TSN. Read more on the Subban situation at TSN.
It’s St. Valentine’s Day, and the Montreal Canadiens sit tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
Not bad for a team many wrote out of the playoffs before the season began.
Even more impressive when one considers that the Habs are only one point behind Boston for third. This Canadiens team is achieving far beyond the expectations of many.
After 50 games, the Montreal Canadiens have 27 wins. Points in ten of their last 12 games. Not bad. Yet they sit perilously close to being outside of the playoffs: three points separate them from the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes. Considering the injuries they’ve sustained thus far, management has to be happy with the team’s performance; however, health, and potential roster changes, are likely going to make or break the Habs chances for a playoff push in 2011.
I can’t recall a period that went as badly for the Montreal Canadiens. Certainly not one where they had the lead. Montreal leads after one, yet lost three players to what could be serious injuries. Mike Cammalleri was checked, somewhat questionably, and went headfirst into the boards. Although he didn’t appear to hit his head, it looked like he may have hurt his wrist. He has not returned. Soon after, Max Pacioretty took a blistering James Wisniewski shot off the chest or upper arm, and late in the period PK Subban took a hard shot off his leg. Brian Gionta also took a Hal Gill clearing shot off his face, but he was able to shake it off and stay in the game. Add to all that the fact that the Habs are battling a vicious flu bug, and this does not bode well for Montreal.
On the plus side, David Desharnais scored his second as a Canadien, and he is looking better every game as he becomes comfortable in the NHL. He may be small, but he goes right to the net in traffic - and that’s where he’s scored his first two NHL goals.
Lars Eller looked great tonight – he scored a goal! – and the Montreal Canadiens notched a victory over the Calgary Flames, albeit one that should have been easier.
A 4-0 lead dwindled to a 4-2, and then Calgary tied it up in the third period. The collapse followed yet another late second period goal, which begs an important question – what is with all the late period goals the Habs have given up this year?
I’m back from a wonderful vacation to Atlantic Canada, and the Habs are back from their worst road trip in a couple of years. While I wasn’t able to see all the games (hiking Newfoundland took priority - my Lord is it beautiful! Anyone living out there is very, very lucky), I saw enough to know the Canadiens are in trouble. That’s obvious to anyone, as they’ve fallen from the top of the Eastern Conference to eighth, and four points away from losing their playoff spot.
So what’s a General Manager to do?
As you’ve undoubtedly read by now, the Canadiens acquired defenceman James Wisniewski from the New York Islanders for a 2nd and conditional 5th round pick. My initial reaction? Great move. The Habs deal a valuable pick, yes, but they add a key piece for more than half the season. This isn’t a deadline pick-up - they’ll have The Wiz for fifty games this year.
Wisniewski brings a right handed shot, a power play presence, and solid, physical play to a defence sorely lacking in all three categories. It also creates a logjam, as the Canadiens now have seven serviceable defencemen.
What happens with PK Subban? How about Yanick Weber, who has been a solid call-up in his slate of appearances?
It’s been a busy day and week, and I’ve *just* gotten my computer back, but a quick summary before tonight’s game:
Dustin Boyd has been sent down to the AHL. He won’t be back - the Habs don’t want to end up paying half of his salary for the rest of the year.
Jaroslav Spacek is extremely slow. Will Jacques Martin scratch him tonight? He can use the excuse that Spacek is still hurting from the Clarke MacArthur beatdown of Saturday. We shall see.
This is a big one for the Habs. They shutout Vancouver. They beat San Jose. They beat Philadelphia. They’ve taken the Bruins. They dominated Phoenix.
Can they defeat the Red Wings?
I’ll admit it, the Wings are THE team to beat. Each and every year. Sure, the Penguins are good, Philadelphia is good, San Jose is often great until April, but the Wings are the pinnacle. They are in a class of their own.
New Jersey almost always beats Montreal. It’s a pattern going back over a decade. Tonight, the Habs rolled over the Devils, 5-1, after the Devils beat the Habs just weeks ago. The difference? Marty Brodeur two weeks ago, Johan Hedberg/Mike McKenna tonight. A goal ten seconds in, and another just a minute later. Great play by Lars Eller. Extremely strong play by Yannick Weber. All this depsite a press-box seat for the Habs most talented player (arguably) PK Subban.
Oh, and Carey Price? Bang on. Yet again. Almost got a shut-out. The best NHL hockey he’s ever played has been this season.
It’s Grey Cup Sunday, and this is the one weekend all year that the Habs take the backseat to the Montreal Alouettes.
But I’m not much of a football fan, so I’m still talking hockey.
The Canadiens had a so-so weekend, falling to Atlanta on Friday (Pavelec is a heckuva goaltender) while defeating Ryan Miller’s Sabres 3-1 Saturday, beating one heckuva goaltender.
And who won the game Saturday? Carey Price. While he lost the shutout with a minute to go, he sports a GAA of 1.95, even more impressive when you consider that he has started 22 games - of which he has one 14, more than he won all of last season.
The Canadiens got the job done Saturday night, beating Ottawa 3-0 and securing Carey Price’s first shutout in almost two years (the last, for those wondering, was November 11th, 2008, against those same Senators). This was a good night for Montreal fans, a true team effort highlighted by two goals from Andrei Kostitsyn and, finally, a goal for the hard-working Benoit Pouliot.
Let’s take a look at Montreal’s efforts thus far in the faceoff circle, which currently have them a disappointing 19th league wide. Jeff Halpern has been a pillar of consistency, as expected, and is currently sporting a 60% faceoff win percentage. However, after that, things get dim. Tomas Plekanec checks in at a mediocre 48%, Scott Gomez is just behind him at 47%, and the recently scratched Dustin Boyd is down the ranks at 40%. Occasional centre Max Lapierre checks in at a reasonable 44%.
Game four of the pre-season saw the Canadiens win 4-3 and even their record at 2-2, as a Koivu and Brunette-less Minnesota Wild were held to a meager fourteen shots by a stifling Canadiens defence.
The Habs dominated most this game, holding a shot advantage of 22-5 through the second period. Alex Auld played the entire game, looking good for most of it despite a lack of action and the .786 SVP on the night. Without question, the prettiest goal of the game was scored by Minnesota’s Justin Falk, who capped an impressive end to end rush by splitting the defence and beating Auld to his right.
For the Habs, Dustin Boyd stood out, playing an effective two-way game while scoring a goal for the second game in a row. Boyd stands out for his effort, which is consistent shift to shift, and the energy and poise he brings to the bottom six. If this brand of play continues, Canadiens fans will very soon forget the name Sergei Kostitsyn.