Rabid Habs

The Champ, The Chump and The Bum, Vol. 20

Habs' PK Subban

Written by: Karine Hains

What should have been an easy week (with match-ups against the Coyotes, the Sabres and the Devils) turned out not to be. The Habs carried on their worrying trend of struggling against bottom of the ranking teams losing to bother the ‘Yotes and the Sabres before righting the ship against the Devils.

The Champ: P.K. Subban

When Subban was snubbed at the All-Star game, I wrote that I hoped he would use that as a motivator and yet another incentive to raise his game and two weeks later, I think it’s safe to say that he has. Tonight, Subban racked up 3 power play assists and scored another goal with his amazing presence and puck control. Not only did he help the team on the power play but he also drew a 4 minutes power play when he was hit in the mouth by a high stick. He also treated the fans to a few fantastic skating displays reminding us all that when he’s on his game, he can skate with the best of them and even leave them in his tracks. What we’ve also been able to appreciate more this year is P.K. Subban’s new found patience. Over the last few years he used to fire the puck to the net at any time from anywhere, earlier this year, he had almost stopped shooting but now, he seems to have finally found a happy medium he shoots when he should and he passes when a teammate has got a better chance to find twine. While I’m the first to agree that so far this year it’s Pacioretty who’s got nearer and nearer to the captain’s “C” I don’t think anyone can deny that Subban is also steadily progressing. One last point, tonight Subban was named the first star of the game and while he was being interviewed by Renaud Lavoie for the French Canadian network TVA Sports you could see him really listening and concentrating while Lavoie was translating his answers to the Bell Centre crowd. Furthermore, at the end of the interview he even said good night to the fans in French. It has been a long time since Montreal had a player who’s so good at handling the pressure and thriving in the limelight and to me, Subban is well worth his 9 million a year.

The Chump: Lars Eller

Eller might have finally scored a goal on the power play tonight but I think we must realize by now that he will not be living up to the high expectations that the Habs front office had when they traded Jaroslav Halak for the young Dane. So far this season, Eller has got a disappointing 16 points and considering the contract he was signed to this summer, that just isn’t enough. So much so that if Marc Bergevin decides to go on a shopping spree before the trade deadline, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eller being shipped out. While he hasn’t been a healthy scratch so far, it’s quite obvious that Therrien’s patience is wearing thin. Playing on a line with him is not an ideal situation, just ask Jiri Sekac who has struggled mightily since he was assigned to Eller’s line. Not so long ago, everyone was prone to say that nothing was Eller’s fault, after all he was shackled with the old ball in chain that was Rene Bourque but Bourque is now long gone and Eller is still not living up to his potential…Time will tell if he’s currently buying himself a ticket out of Montreal but one thing is for sure, Bergevin is not a fan of passengers who don’t pull their weight…

The Bum: Evander Kane

I don’t know about you but I was quite relieved to hear that Kane would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Why? Well, his name has started to come-up quite often in trade rumors and while some people seem eager to try and acquire him to give him a chance, I for one believe that this player has an attitude problem and that when everything is working well in a dressing room, you do not go around messing with that kind of chemistry. We’re talking about a player who takes silly pictures of himself with bundles of money, cannot respect the team’s dress code and has a way of rubbing his teammates the wrong way. Remember Subban’s first season with the Habs? Many had issues with his attitude and behavior and he was doing nothing compared to the stories which are being reported about Kane. As I’ve often said before, I trust Bergevin and I’m confident that he will not go anywhere near that gamble.

Four great games ahead starting with the Bruins tomorrow night, the Flyers on Tuesday, the Oilers on Wednesday and the Leafs on Saturday…Let’s hope the Habs put an end to that awful habit of losing key points to inferior teams, otherwise, this might be a very long week…