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Malcolm Subban Arrives On Scene In Style

The goalie picked up his first NHL win on Sunday against the Boston Bruins

by Gary Lawless @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

It's rare that we can tell in the moment, that a star is being born.

More often, years later when an athlete is at the height of his or her career, someone will look back and say, "Remember that night? Who knew such a run was beginning?"

Someday, if Malcolm Subban becomes the player the Vegas Golden Knights are hoping he can become, Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins may be that moment in time. His beginning in the bigs.

Subban had previously started two NHL games and they had both ended in disaster with him getting yanked and finishing the night on the bench.

Getting drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft placed unrealistic expectations on Subban and at age 24, the Bruins gave up on him and placed him on waivers.

Video: BOS@VGK: Subban robs Marchand with big pad save

 

It should be noted, there are only two starting goalies in the NHL younger than Subban right now - Pittsburgh's Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

RELATED: Malcolm Subban 3 Fun Facts
 
Add the fact Subban missed most of a season following surgery to repair a fractured larynx and his development curve really isn't that abnormal.

Vegas claimed Subban off waivers because goalie coach Dave Prior saw size and athleticism and believed he could fine-tune Subban's fundamentals to create a No. 1 goalie.

"We interviewed him when I was with Washington and considered drafting him. He went a little higher than we were looking to take a goaltender at that time," explained Prior. "So having scouted him for the amateur draft I was familiar with his game. I revisited his game last year in the American league and liked what I saw in terms of the athlete. Not everything about his game was satisfactory for me, but I felt he would be coachable and had a lot of potential."

Sounds great, right? But that word coachable can be a speedbump for a lot of players. If the player won't listen, it doesn't matter that the coach has to say.

 

Video: Malcolm Subban on his first win vs. his former team

 

Prior and Subban have been spending lots of time after main practice working on the goalie's game.

"(Malcolm) has been open to modifying his game. We're not trying to redesign it, just tweak it to eliminate some of the goals that found their way by him," said Prior. "My approach is about building your own luck and doing things that leave you less vulnerable in secondary chances. That's where most of our focus has been.

"We're trying not to have the shooter run us. Meaning as a goaltender, you're trying to stop the puck but you are at a disadvantage if the player has the puck and knows what he's trying to do. We try to turn the table and make it difficult for the shooter to score at all times. That has a lot to do with the positional part of his game. Try to be more consistent how you play a situation. It's just a human tendency to back off to give yourself more reaction time, but it often exposes more net. It takes more courage to stand your ground and that's one of the things we've emphasized in his game."

Subban's older brother P.K. is a defenseman with the Nashville Predators and his younger brother Jordan is a blueliner in the Vancouver Canucks chain.

"I love my family and it's great to share hockey with everyone in there. We're all pretty connected through hockey. It kind of brings you closer as a family," said Subban. "I always wanted to be a goalie when I was a kid. I was a defenseman like my brothers and I kind of convinced my dad to let me play goal. He finally let me play goal when I was 12 and here I am now."

 

Video: Subban gets first NHL win as Vegas beats Boston, 3-1

 

Describing his life away from hockey, Subban isn't much different than most people his age. He likes video games and cars.

"I have a Lancer Revolution Final Edition right now. I'm trying to convince my mom to let me get a new car but she's pretty strict and she doesn't want me to spend all my money," he laughed. "I don't know what my bank account would be looking like right now and how much I would invest in cars. She keeps me under control."

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