Subban's Questionable Actions In Rangers Win

I’m not going to gloat about Friday’s big 6 – 3 win over Montreal. Okay, I won’t gloat too much. Seriously, it was a big win for the Rangers who happened to catch a Montreal team in the second-half of a back-to-back and in their 3rd game in 4 nights overall. The Canadiens were missing 4 regulars, Hal Gill, Tomas Plekanec, Jeff Halpern and Brent Sopel to injury or illness while scoring forward Mike Cammalleri was under the weather battling the flu. The Rangers caught a tired Montreal team and took advantage of them.

The Rangers, by virtue of their position in the standings relative to Montreal’s, was the more desperate team and they played like it in the first period. New York went wild scoring 5 goals in the period and chasing likely Vezina candidate Carey Price. I have to commend Montreal for not giving up and closing the gap to 5 – 3 in the 3rd before a PP goal by Vinny Prospal finally put the game out of reach.

Many Rangers fans were understandably worried when Montreal forward Benoit Pouliot ran through Henrik Lundqvist late in the 3rd while driving to the net. Lundqvist remained on the ice for a moment but recovered enough to close the game out. He’s suffering from a stiff and sore neck and is questionable for Sunday’s tilt against Pittsburgh. (Update: Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers).

As far as that play goes, I agree with coach Tortorella who felt it was just a hockey play that resulted in a hard collision with the Ranger goalie. Players are taught to drive to the net and that’s exactly what Pouliot did. Eminger actually guided him into Hank. I have no beef there.

I do have a beef with the Canadiens though; specifically with rookie defenseman P.K. Subban. Hey, I get it; he’s a pretty good player now and has the potential to be a very good player in the near future. Why wouldn’t the Canadiens fans love him? I have seen Subban play all of 4 full games; all against the Rangers. I would like the insight of someone who has seen the kid play more than I have. That’s why I want to call out the lead Canadiens guy on this site, George Prax (his last name is too long for me to spell out all the way so Prax it is for purposes of this piece), to engage in a discussion/debate on P.K. Subban. George, are you listening buddy? You versus me, Topic: P.K. Subban and whether or not he is destined to become one of the NHL’s most hated players and does he deserve to be thought of as such.

Before you say anything George, or any other Montreal apologist, Sean Avery is a punk. You will get no argument from me on that. I do rank him below Matt Cooke, Patrick Kaleta, Jarkko Ruutu and a few others on the punk scale. While Avery is an annoyance and a jerk, those guys have been involved more in plays which have resulted in the injuries of opposing players. Avery doesn’t usually engage in that type of behavior.

Now back to Subban; here are a few things I have seen from him that leads me to believe he will one day deservedly be considered among the likes of Avery, Cooke, etc.

In an earlier game with the Rangers, Subban clearly slew-foot F Brandon Dubinsky directly in front of the officials and no penalty was called, strangely. Slew-foots are a dangerous penalty that can result in injury.

Truth be told, Subban is far from the first and only player to ever do that. In fact, Dubinsky, the player whom Subban performed the move on, isn’t above rough, physical and sometimes questionable play. I would never base an opinion of a player on one single play. But there is more.

Let’s look at some more recent actions committed by Subban just this Friday. Early in the contest, with the score tied at 1, Brandon Prust went hard to the net and while Carey Price struggled to cover a loose puck, Prust was able to get his stick on it. Prust actually succeeded in chipping the puck towards the goal and hitting the post in the process. The whistle was blown just as Prust struck the puck.

Naturally, defensemen want to protect their goalie and I expected someone to get into Prust’s face and give him a shove or two; that’s hockey. Subban was the Montreal defender closest to the play but instead of engaging Prust with a shove he reached up with both hands grabbing Prust around the head/neck area and spun the Rangers forward to the ice.

Absolutely mystifying to me was the penalty calls made on the play. Prust got 2 minutes for interfering with Subban and Subban was given a minor for roughing. So getting tossed to the ice is actually interfering with the guy throwing you down? Interesting.

Look, Subban isn’t the biggest player but at 6’, 206 lbs. (as listed on the Montreal Canadiens official website) he is comparable in size to Brandon Prust, 6’2”, 193 lbs. (according to Rangers website). Was it really necessary for Subban to react as I would expect a small player like Brian Gionta to behave when confronting a player like Prust? Prust is no monster like Derek Boogaard. Prust is tied for 4th in the NHL with 16 fighting majors on his card and is noted for his pugilistic skills but Subban is no stranger to squaring off with an opponent as his 4 major penalties for fighting would suggest. To me that move by Subban was reminiscent of something someone like Avery would do.

Alright, every player does something like that at one point or another during a long season. Those two things aren’t enough to fairly characterize Subban as a dirty player. But the prosecution has yet to rest. Here’s one more from Friday’s game.

Later in the game, with the Rangers up 5 – 2, PK Subban skated in towards the Rangers goal in pursuit of the puck when he bumped into Lundqvist. Again nothing major there as he was driving to the net. However, Rangers defenseman Michael Sauer did what he should do in that case; he went to Subban and gave him a little of the business. Some shoves occurred and Sauer dropped his gloves as he pursued a retreating Subban. While Subban appeared to be skating to the safety of the linesmen, only dropping his gloves when he reached the proximity of the officials, Sauer, who wears a visor, removed his helmet as I believe all players who have a visor and want to fight should do. With Subban so close to the officials, the fight would not be allowed to commence and both players would receive 2 minute minors for roughing.

TSN analyst Pierre Maguire, who apparently has a lot of admiration for Subban, defended Subban by saying he was unafraid of anyone and would have gone with Sauer. However, Subban’s actions were contradictory of someone wanting to throw down there. Instead of standing in and dropping his gloves he retreated quickly to where the officials were gathered.

I’m sure to many of you reading this, especially the large number of Candiens fans, I have yet to prove my accusations about Subban. Well, the prosecution now calls Philadelphia Flyers center and Captain, Mike Richards, to the stand.

Here’s an excerpt of comments made by Richards to a radio reporter back in November about Subban:

"He's a guy that's come in the league and hasn't earned respect," Richards told the radio station. "It's just frustrating to see a young guy like that come in here and so much as think that he's better than a lot of people. You have to earn respect in this league. It takes a lot. You can't just come in here as a rookie and play like that. It's not the way to get respect from other players around the league. Hopefully someone on their team addresses it, because, uh, I'm not saying I'm going to do it, but something might happen to him if he continues to be that cocky."

To put these comments in a little context, I think Richards is a piece of crap too. Also, these remarks came after Richards’ Flyers lost a 3 – 0 decision to Subban’s Habs. Naturally, Subban’s teammates stuck up for the youngster. Here’s a quote from fellow Habs defender and Associate Captain, Hal Gill:

"That's when P.K. plays well, when he's under people's skin and forces people into poor decisions trying to hit him," said Habs blueline, said Gill. "Then he can skate and wheel off and make plays. From what I've seen, that's what P.K. does well. I wouldn't expect him to change anything he does.
"You know, he's got a lot to learn about the game, but I think the way he plays, it is exciting and fun."

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement as I see some holes and omissions in Gill’s defense of Subban. If you were to substitute the name of Avery for Subban in Gill’s first sentence you would be left with this:

“That’s when Sean plays well, when he’s under people’s skin and forces people into poor decisions trying to hit him.”

I’ve searched the internet high and low for it and can’t find any but I am quite sure Torts has made very similar remarks about Sean Avery’s game on multiple occasions.

I can truthfully see from my perspective as a fan what Richards is talking about too. There is a fine but distinct line between confidence and arrogance and I’ve seen Subban cross that line. There is just something about Subban’s on-ice demeanor that bothers me. To better articulate what I mean here are some quotes from my favorite movie, Tombstone, where Doc Holliday is talking to “Big Nose” Kate upon meeting fellow gunfighter, Johnny Ringo:

Ringo: And you must be Doc Holliday.

Doc: That’s the rumor.

Ringo: You retired too?

Doc: Not me. I’m in my prime.

Ringo: Yeah, you look it.

I included the previous comments because I like them and they provide some background.

Doc: And you must be Ringo. Look, darling. It’s Johnny Ringo. The deadliest pistol since Wild Bill, they say. What do you think, darling? Should I hate him?

Kate: You don’t even know him.

Doc: Yes, but there’s just something about him. Something around the eyes. I don’t know, reminds me of…… me. No. I’m sure of it, I hate him.

After an exchange ensues in Latin between Doc and Ringo.

Marshal Fred White: Come on boys. We don’t want any trouble in here. Not in any language.

Doc: Evidently Mr. Ringo is an educated man. Now I really hate him.

That kind of describes how I (Holliday) and most Rangers fans feel about Subban (Ringo). I know, I am a Rangers fan and I have my red, white and blue Rangers glasses on. That’s why I am encouraging Mr. Prax to represent the Candiens fans on this debate. I only ask that he and the rest of the Canadiens fans reading this take of their blanc, bleu y rouge glasses off too. (I don’t speak French so I apologize if I made any mistakes there).

Alright Prax, let’s hear it. I want your best defense of Subban. Try to keep it clean and expect me to respond as vociferously to your argument as I expect you to answer mine.

18 Comments

Shahab Khan's picture

Hey Glen

I am a big PK fan but I do agree with you that he is loosing the respect of alot of the players in the NHL.

Now respect is key but not the respect that PK is loosing.

Players need to respect each other on ice concerning dangerous play, hits, headshots etc

But I don't think you need to earn any respect in regards to competing and winning.

Yes, PK has done some questionable things - I believe he faked being as hurt as he was when Vinny slashed him Thursday.

Yes, PK is brash but so was Richards and he needed Pronger to put him in his place.

One thing that I noted early on this year was that PK needs to keep playing the way he was.

Unfortunately the media got to him and his gregarious end to end no holds barred style has changed.

But to say he is a dirty player - no - thats not true.

To say that he competes - yes - to say he wants to win - yes

To say he is in your face and will tell you how good he is - yes

but that's what hockey needs - we are tired of the boring hockey player

Let's be honest - most of the sport athletes thing hockey players are dumb, boring and lacking in any emotion.

PK plays with emotion and that should never change.

Yes, do I believe some nights PK needs to be hit in the face a couple of times - sure

but if PK wants to be PK - then he will have to take the good with the bad.

and like I said in my blog - PK has the chance of being a future captain of the Habs - if he wants it

Shahab Khan's picture

all I can say is watch the Habs third goal

George Prax's picture

Can you write slanderous, untrue blogs about our players more often? They seem to score Hat Tricks when you do Wink

Glen Miller's picture
George Prax wrote:

Can you write slanderous, untrue blogs about our players more often? They seem to score Hat Tricks when you do Wink

Slanderous and untrue? I think not. I expressed an opinion that I am sure others would share publicly here if they weren't afraid of the "Prax Ban Hammer" swinging down and knocking them off the site. I'm all for writing something completely honest and supported by insurmountable facts if it brings traffic and attention. Just waiting for the response; that is if you are able to formulate an intelligent one. Big smile

George Prax's picture
Glen Miller wrote:
George Prax wrote:

Can you write slanderous, untrue blogs about our players more often? They seem to score Hat Tricks when you do Wink

Slanderous and untrue? I think not. I expressed an opinion that I am sure others would share publicly here if they weren't afraid of the "Prax Ban Hammer" swinging down and knocking them off the site. I'm all for writing something completely honest and supported by insurmountable facts if it brings traffic and attention. Just waiting for the response; that is if you are able to formulate an intelligent one. Big smile

I don't really know why you're bringing up ideas of the "Prax Ban Hammer". I've never banned anyone for expressing their opinions and frankly even for calling me out personally (which you did here, and I don't even know why you had to do that). I told you I would write a response, and it will be written and posted in the coming days. But ya, just because you think that Subban is a dirty player doesn't mean that he is. Hence why I believe your opinion to be slanderous and untrue. Especially when you compare him, a guy that's playing a s a number one defenseman on a team with enormous pressure and not caving under any of it, to someone like Sean Avery, who only plays this game to be an asshole, or Matt Cooke, who is mentally unstable. And I find that a little insulting. But you're the one who called me out, and you're the one who even suggested that I would ban someone just because they have a differing opinion. I'm all for a good discussion on a controversial player, but you're the one who's making this personal buddy, not me.

I won't waste too much of my response in the comments here but here's a little sample: People are just afraid of his enormous talent, they're intimidated by it and when they go after him, and they're surprised by the fact that he has the balls to stand up to them. I do find it funny, though, that you base your opinion on seeing him play in all of four games. But if that's what you think, it is, in fact, your opinion. As you'll see in my post in a few days, that opinion is in fact false.

Eric Huffman's picture

Are there some questionable actions from Subban that could back up your side of the debate? Sure. I don't think Subban will become one of the most hated players in the league, though. He's young, talented, energetic and has a long career ahead of him. The finer points that distinguish being cocky and being confident will come with time. He will go against many players who probably don't care for his playing style, and thus will be subject to some "learning experiences". I have faith that Subban will learn the ways of the game (in terms of respect) and will grow accordingly. For now, I simply see it as a rookie who has had a phenomenal year in the NHL and is enjoying it to the fullest.

Fraser's picture

PK Subban = awesome.
this guy is electrifying love watching him play ,arguably the best hab defensman as of right now

HfxHabby's picture

Since Markov and Gorges went down, Subban has become the best D man on the team. He is quite a thrill to watch, and as a HAbs fan who used to hate him, i have come around a little.
Here is my analysis of your observations on him.

1 - The SlewFoot. Yep he did it, no argument from me. But why is it when a Habs player gets away with something, the whole league is up in arms, but when someone doesnt get called on a penalty against the Habs, the only ones crying out (generally speaking) are Habs fans?

2 - The Neck Crank. Yep he did it, no argument there. Its called clearing your crease. The man charged the best player on the team and Subban did something that Canadiens are not doing enough this year. Defending their netminder. As for the position, Subban was behind him, and to clear in a hurry, i would have done the same thing. I had no problem with it. And the interference was for obstructing Subban when he did not have the puck, not for being taken down by him which you absurdly suggest.

3 - The Dodge. Ok, this was just smart hockey. How dont you see it that way? he is trying to sty out of the box and not look like a pussy. but if he fights, then the best Dman on the team these days is gone for 5. So, chase and lure, and take 2, whats the problem here?

Look i wont argue that Subban is hated, but what i dont get is why? because of some shithead comments by richards who has little room to speak? the kid is good. scary good. and he will keep getting better. If other teams hate him because he can hit hard, can block shots, can score goals and do a dozen other things on the ice better than a lot of players in the league, then im sure, that just like me, he will be laughing at them all the way through his career.

I suggest you watch a few more games, and keep your eyes on 76. you might just be amazed.

Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinions
HH

George Prax's picture

Great points HH and welcome to the site. Hope you express them a lot more often Wink

Glen Miller's picture
George Prax wrote:

Great points HH and welcome to the site. Hope you express them a lot more often Wink

Look guys, sorry if the post came off the wrong way. I probably should have chosen a different title. My point was that as a fan of another team I look at what Subban is doing on the ice and I can see him easily becoming hated in the same vein as Pronger. Great when he's on your team, not so great when he isn't. I don't think that can be argued. I was clear when I stated I have only watched 4 games of Subban because I wanted to be up front that I may have seen him at his worse or that I wasn't in a great position to judge him neccesarily. I gave my opinion on the guy from my limited exposure to him. I never said he wasn't a good player. In fact I said quite the opposite. I really wanted to spark a reasonable discussion on the player.

As a Rangers fan I am outnumbered on this site by a bunch. I was trying to have a little fun with the Canadiens fans, specifically Prax, on a topic I knew would attract your interest. I didn't mean it to offend anyone and if you were then I am sorry.

Maybe some of you haven't read the several other pieces in which I have ridiculed my own team and its GM. I do this because sometimes writing gets to be a little vanilla for me and I like to try to have fun with it without hurting anyone's feelings or making anyone angry.

HfxHabby's picture
Glen Miller wrote:
George Prax wrote:

Great points HH and welcome to the site. Hope you express them a lot more often Wink

Look guys, sorry if the post came off the wrong way. I probably should have chosen a different title. My point was that as a fan of another team I look at what Subban is doing on the ice and I can see him easily becoming hated in the same vein as Pronger. Great when he's on your team, not so great when he isn't. I don't think that can be argued. I was clear when I stated I have only watched 4 games of Subban because I wanted to be up front that I may have seen him at his worse or that I wasn't in a great position to judge him neccesarily. I gave my opinion on the guy from my limited exposure to him. I never said he wasn't a good player. In fact I said quite the opposite. I really wanted to spark a reasonable discussion on the player.

As a Rangers fan I am outnumbered on this site by a bunch. I was trying to have a little fun with the Canadiens fans, specifically Prax, on a topic I knew would attract your interest. I didn't mean it to offend anyone and if you were then I am sorry.

Maybe some of you haven't read the several other pieces in which I have ridiculed my own team and its GM. I do this because sometimes writing gets to be a little vanilla for me and I like to try to have fun with it without hurting anyone's feelings or making anyone angry.

I am not at all offended. really im not. but every second post on the habs these days seems to be a hate-on for Pernell Karl Subban, and i just thought it was time i defended the kid. I appreciate your POV, but i do hope you can understand mine as well. I dont dispute he has been involved in some questionable things, and some people could take it poorly, but in all honesty, if he was on your team and backed off from a sure clobbering, whilst drawing an opposing penalty, wouldnt you call that a smart hockey play instead of gettin on him for it? Wink
just sayin...

Glen Miller's picture
HfxHabby wrote:
Glen Miller wrote:
George Prax wrote:

Great points HH and welcome to the site. Hope you express them a lot more often Wink

Look guys, sorry if the post came off the wrong way. I probably should have chosen a different title. My point was that as a fan of another team I look at what Subban is doing on the ice and I can see him easily becoming hated in the same vein as Pronger. Great when he's on your team, not so great when he isn't. I don't think that can be argued. I was clear when I stated I have only watched 4 games of Subban because I wanted to be up front that I may have seen him at his worse or that I wasn't in a great position to judge him neccesarily. I gave my opinion on the guy from my limited exposure to him. I never said he wasn't a good player. In fact I said quite the opposite. I really wanted to spark a reasonable discussion on the player.

As a Rangers fan I am outnumbered on this site by a bunch. I was trying to have a little fun with the Canadiens fans, specifically Prax, on a topic I knew would attract your interest. I didn't mean it to offend anyone and if you were then I am sorry.

Maybe some of you haven't read the several other pieces in which I have ridiculed my own team and its GM. I do this because sometimes writing gets to be a little vanilla for me and I like to try to have fun with it without hurting anyone's feelings or making anyone angry.

I am not at all offended. really im not. but every second post on the habs these days seems to be a hate-on for Pernell Karl Subban, and i just thought it was time i defended the kid. I appreciate your POV, but i do hope you can understand mine as well. I dont dispute he has been involved in some questionable things, and some people could take it poorly, but in all honesty, if he was on your team and backed off from a sure clobbering, whilst drawing an opposing penalty, wouldnt you call that a smart hockey play instead of gettin on him for it? Wink
just sayin...

I think what bothered me more than anything was listening to Pierre Maguire slobbering all over himself in his effusive praise for Subban's toughness and bravery. He made some remark that Subban wasn't afraid of anyone and that he wanted to go. Clearly Subban, rightly or wrongly, didn't want to fight. And I'm not sure what his chances against Sauer would have been. From my point of view he (Sauer) isn't the best fighter though he is a tough kid. Also Sauer and Subban both drew minors for roughing since both players dropped their gloves.

George Prax's picture
Glen Miller wrote:
George Prax wrote:

Great points HH and welcome to the site. Hope you express them a lot more often Wink

Look guys, sorry if the post came off the wrong way. I probably should have chosen a different title. My point was that as a fan of another team I look at what Subban is doing on the ice and I can see him easily becoming hated in the same vein as Pronger. Great when he's on your team, not so great when he isn't. I don't think that can be argued. I was clear when I stated I have only watched 4 games of Subban because I wanted to be up front that I may have seen him at his worse or that I wasn't in a great position to judge him neccesarily. I gave my opinion on the guy from my limited exposure to him. I never said he wasn't a good player. In fact I said quite the opposite. I really wanted to spark a reasonable discussion on the player.

As a Rangers fan I am outnumbered on this site by a bunch. I was trying to have a little fun with the Canadiens fans, specifically Prax, on a topic I knew would attract your interest. I didn't mean it to offend anyone and if you were then I am sorry.

Maybe some of you haven't read the several other pieces in which I have ridiculed my own team and its GM. I do this because sometimes writing gets to be a little vanilla for me and I like to try to have fun with it without hurting anyone's feelings or making anyone angry.

We talked about this through e-mail so I'm sorry if I came off as mad myself, but I do agree this this is a topic worth discussing and for the most part you made your points clearly with examples. I do also think that a comparison to Pronger is better than a comparison to Cooke or Avery, which is what really got me mad Tongue

But ya, just a matter of the blind Habs rage getting in the way lol. My "official" response will be much more tamed Wink

Glen Miller's picture
George Prax wrote:
Glen Miller wrote:
George Prax wrote:

Great points HH and welcome to the site. Hope you express them a lot more often Wink

Look guys, sorry if the post came off the wrong way. I probably should have chosen a different title. My point was that as a fan of another team I look at what Subban is doing on the ice and I can see him easily becoming hated in the same vein as Pronger. Great when he's on your team, not so great when he isn't. I don't think that can be argued. I was clear when I stated I have only watched 4 games of Subban because I wanted to be up front that I may have seen him at his worse or that I wasn't in a great position to judge him neccesarily. I gave my opinion on the guy from my limited exposure to him. I never said he wasn't a good player. In fact I said quite the opposite. I really wanted to spark a reasonable discussion on the player.

As a Rangers fan I am outnumbered on this site by a bunch. I was trying to have a little fun with the Canadiens fans, specifically Prax, on a topic I knew would attract your interest. I didn't mean it to offend anyone and if you were then I am sorry.

Maybe some of you haven't read the several other pieces in which I have ridiculed my own team and its GM. I do this because sometimes writing gets to be a little vanilla for me and I like to try to have fun with it without hurting anyone's feelings or making anyone angry.

We talked about this through e-mail so I'm sorry if I came off as mad myself, but I do agree this this is a topic worth discussing and for the most part you made your points clearly with examples. I do also think that a comparison to Pronger is better than a comparison to Cooke or Avery, which is what really got me mad Tongue

But ya, just a matter of the blind Habs rage getting in the way lol. My "official" response will be much more tamed Wink

HAHAHA!. I was thinking of Ulfie Samuelsson too but Subban has offensive ability so Pronger is a better comparable. However, a comparison to Avery isn't unfair if players around the league feel the same way about the two. I'm not a player nor have I talked with any but if Richards' take is shared by other players then it may end up being Avery and Subban are linked in the same sentence.

With Avery I think his own teammates are tired of his act. Subban is a young guy and if he takes the advice and follows the examples of the veteran leadership on the Canadiens he should turn out alright. But if he lets his ego get in the way it's all downhill after that.

George Prax's picture

Avery does what he does because

A) He has mental problems
B) He doesn't have the ability to play hockey like Subban does.

Again, my response is forthcoming but basically, people hate Subban because of the way he plays, and when they confront him about him in scrums and stuff, he doesn't back down, and may respond with a dirty play or two (like a slash or whatever) and it escalates into the hate you see today. I don't think he's a douche for the sake of being a douche, and the big difference between the two is ability.

R_McGregor12's picture

I'd like to point out that When Lupul dropped the gloves with Subban and was taking off his helmet, Subban started throwing punches while Lupul was taking his bucket off.

R_McGregor12's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LNfBqPlp-0

video proof. Now, I'll admit that Subban is a good defenceman, but he should probably "earn respect" because I have a feeling that sooner or later, someone might go out there and try and hurt him.

George Prax's picture

Oh so what. It's not Subban's problem if Lupul wants to take off his helmet. I hear this so often as a Habs fan, that this sport is about the rough stuff, about hitting and physicality. If Lupul wants to leave himself open for five seconds while he takes off his helmet he should go play a sport where there's no fighting. I'm not a big fan of fighting with visors or hell, even fighting in general but just another huge overreaction by fans over literally nothing.