MONTREAL – If Bruins’ fans already didn’t have enough of a reason to boo P.K. Subban each time he touches the puck in Boston, they do now.
Subban has a series high three goals and is one of a few reasons as to why the Montreal Canadiens hold a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
In Game 1, Subban— along with goalie Carey Price — played the role of hero, scoring two power play goals, including the double overtime game winning goal, to remind Bruins’ fans why he is public enemy number one each team the blue blanc et rouge are in town.
In other words, Subban is the perfect villain for the Bruins’ oldest, most historic rival.
“He’s a good player, he’s a great player,” said Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller. “We have to account for him out there. Obviously he’s done a pretty good job this series. So we need to do a little bit better of a job on him.”
The reigning Norris Trophy winning Subban now has six points in the series; Tuesday’s Game 3 was Subban’s fifth multi-point game in the playoffs. The Canadiens have played in seven playoff games so far this postseason.
As the Habs’ net-minder, Price gets to see up close a lot of the talents that Subban brings to the table on a nightly basis. Price certainly is happy with what he sees from his close friend.
“He’s a really good hockey player, he’s been harnessing his emotions very well,” said Price, “and he’s been playing really solid hockey. He’s really shown why he’s the Norris Trophy winner.”
After Subban’s gut wrenching game winning tally in Game 1, some classless individuals took to twitter to express their feelings on Subban, using profane words to express themselves. Subban handled the issue with class.
“You know what, this is the first time and probably the last time I’ll comment on it. First things first, the Boston Bruins are an original six franchise, they have been around for a very long time, they are respected. It’s completely unfair for anybody to point the finger at the organization or the fan base. They have passionate fans here, great fan base and since I’ve been in the league it’s been awesome,” Subban stated.
“I’ve come to Boston many times, my family has come here, and it’s been great. What people may say on Twitter or social media is not a reflection by any means of the league or the Boston Bruins. So whoever that is, they’ll get dealt with, but it’s completely separate from this league or the Boston Bruins organization. I know some of those players personally on that team, like I said, the fan base has been awesome, they are a great bunch of fans.”
In Game 3 with the series tied at one, Subban came up huge once again for the Habs. As his elbowing penalty expired, Subban jumped out of the box, caught a nifty pass from Lars Eller and raced in all alone, beating Tuukka Rask and helping extend the Canadiens’ lead to two.
The villain of the rivalry struck again.
“You know what, I was pretty mad about the call at first, and then I watched the replay and my arm did get up on him,” said Subban.
“But coming out of the box, Larry [Eller] made a good play; found me cutting through the neutral zone and I just went in on Tuukka. To be honest with you I was pretty surprised and a little bit nervous, he’s a really good goalie and I just tried to bury my head and make a move and the puck went in for me.”
It’s easy to understand why people in Boston dislike Subban so much. His on ice antics can be described as cocky. His reputation for embellishment is well known, especially outside Montreal. But at the end of the day, Subban is just doing what he loves, and what he loves is something he is very good at.
With 11 points in seven playoff games, Subban has already shattered his career high playoff total. Some can point the finger and say it’s because he has extra motivation when he lines up against the Black and Gold, but Subban says that’s not the case.
“You know what; I don’t try to step up my game against different teams. I try and play as well as I can every game, no matter who I’m playing,” said Subban. “They’re a really good team. I’ve gotten opportunities, my teammates have found me in the right place, guys are getting in front of the net, making it tough-making good plays. You know it’s easy to say you get a play out of the penalty box, but he made such a great pass.”
The Bruins know how well Subban has played the role of villain and they also know how well he has been in the series. The B’s need to do a better job of containing Subban, starting in Game 4.
“He’s a good player, he’s a real talented offensive player with speed, he plays with a lot of emotion. He’s playing well right now,” said Bruins forward Gregory Campbell. “With all good players it’s an in your face type of game and that’s our game. Whether it’s him or it’s Sidney Crosby a good player like that, you can’t make it easy on him and he’s been a big part of their offense so far and it’s something we have to be aware of.
“He’s been a major part of both of their wins. So I think he’s one of their star players, but there has been other players that have stepped up for them as well. So it’s not just P.K., It’s us being better as a team
You can say what you want about Subban’s on-ice antics, but off the ice he’s a different guy. He’s humble, and doesn’t like to take any credit for his success.
“I got all the microphones in my face, but it’s a group effort,” Subban said.
If the Bruins are the Batman of Boston, then P.K. Subban is playing the role of The Joker, and boy he is playing it perfectly.
Hear what Miller and Subban had to say in regards to P.K. Subban.