Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PK Circus

Over the course of the season thus far, I have been relieved in terms of one thing: goaltending controversy. Every morning on game day, every Habs fan and sportscaster had one thing on their minds: "who's going to be between the pipes tonight?" I must admit that it's nice for the focus to be off the goaltender (not to downplay Carey Price's play this season, in fact, I mean quite the opposite. His play has been not only stellar and consistent, but extraordinary. It's hard to argue against the fact that we have at least a Vezina candidate on our hands, if not Hart as well, but I digress.) This season, however, there appears to be a whole new controversy of its own, aptly nicknamed "the PK circus".

To think of this season as Subban's rookie season can be almost difficult for some Montrealers, being that he really burst onto the scene during the playoffs last season. That being said, he is still a rookie with a lot to learn, which most people seem to be forgetting. Jacques Martin's decision to scratch PK for the past 2 games, as well as neglecting him from tonight's starting lineup against the Ottawa Senators, has caused somewhat of a raucous in this town. I'll be the first to admit that I am most definitely Team PK, and I think that his cockiness and trash talk on the ice are more of a benefit than a hinderance. However, before dumping on JM and doubting the organization's competence, let's look at this from all angles.

The first of which being the fact that the Habs have won both games that PK did not play in. This may be a coincidence or it may be a result of the more than adequate play coming from Weber. Whatever the reason, most coaches don't mess with a winning formula, and JM may be exercising a little superstition here. The fact that PK is being scratched from his 3rd straight game may have very little to do with "teaching him a lesson".

Whatever the case may be, I really don't think the sole reason for removing PK from the line up is due to a few bad turnovers. There is a lot to the story that we DON'T know, as Pierre Maguire pointed out during an on-air call with Mitch Melnick on Team 990 this afternoon. For all we know, PK may have a sprain, or a pulled groin, or some other minor nagging injury that the organization doesn't want made public knowledge.

Another complaint from fans (who, by the way, I didn't know you were a paid coach for the Montreal Canadiens? Clearly you must know more than the experienced coaching and management staff...) is the fact that this 3 game healthy scratch seems like a random, sudden, guillotine move. Ohhhhh I wasn't aware that all of you followed PK Subban around 24/7! How do you know that the coaching staff hadn't already spoken to him about his "attitude"? How do you know his teammates didn't approach him about his "poor play"? With Markov on LTIR, the team couldn't afford to reduce his ice time, and this probably seemed like the best option.

What it all boils down to, is however you feel about the situation, the team did alright in PK's absence, and got the 2 W's. Now I miss my triple low 5's as much as the next Habs fan, and I do agree that 3 games is a little extreme to keep him out of the lineup, but I'm able to admit that there's probably more to the story. Why can't the rest of this city?

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