BROSSARD -- P.K. Subban
always makes an impression.
After finding himself in the thick of what has become a heated rivalry between the Canadiens and Flyers, Subban has apparently become the talk of the Philadelphia dressing room. The rookie defenseman’s run-in with Mike Richards had the Flyers captain questioning Subban’s respect for his elders in the aftermath of the Habs’ 3-0 win on Tuesday night.
“P.K. isn’t too young to do everything it takes to win,” said Maxim Lapierre. “He sometimes throws the opposition off with a nice play or a spin-o-rama or even just by smiling. I think that’s ok. I’m just happy to know that I’m not the only the player on this team that opponents don’t like.”
Success in the NHL isn’t a popularity contest whether you’re a veteran All-Star or a rookie like Subban.
“Does Sidney Crosby bother certain players? He probably does,” said head coach Jacques Martin. “Playing on the edge is what makes P.K. such a good player and the same applies to Richards.”
Hal Gill is firmly in the camp of those who want Subban to keep being Subban.
“The way he plays the game is fun and exciting and obviously the fans love it. If the other team doesn’t like it, that’s just part of the game. I don’t like it when a guy scores on me and whoops it up, but you just deal with it,” explained Gill. “He gets under people’s skin and forces them to make bad decisions. That’s what he does well. I don’t expect him to change what he does. He talks out there and gets excited. The bottom line is he plays well when he’s feeling confident and that’s how he’s most comfortable.”
Drawing the ire of Richards and being called out wasn’t a shock only to Subban’s coach and teammates.
“I have lot of respect for the guys in this league and [Richards] is a player who has been around for a while. He’s won a [Olympic] gold medal, he’s the captain of the Flyers, and he’s a player I looked up to when I was still playing in Junior,” admitted Subban. “I just try to play the game as hard as I can. I’m a rookie in this league and I’m just trying to go out there and earn my respect.”
Does that mean the Flyers will be getting a taste of Diet Subban when the Habs pay them a visit on Monday night?
“I’ll play my game the way my team needs me to play and as long as Jacques and my teammates are happy with the way I’m playing, I’m going to continue to do that.”Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com.
Read also:Canadiens 3, Flyers 0 Leading the charge