Entering this week's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, there were several players considered to be virtual locks as starters for the Canadian National Junior Team at the 2013 World Junior Championship later this month.
Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League -- one of four goalies invited to the camp -- was among the "locks." Fact is, however, Subban's lackluster performance through the first two exhibition games was rather un-Subban-like.
During the four-game series in the Canada-Russia Challenge in August, Subban was superb, allowing four goals for a 1.97 goals-against average in two victories. In five appearances for Canada's Under-18 National Team, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound goalie sported an impressive 2.98 GAA and .913 save percentage.
Perhaps that's why coaches and fans were willing to give Subban the benefit of a doubt through the first two days of selection camp. But there's no question Subban realizes he must play better. After all, the 2013 WJC will be the biggest event of his hockey career.