Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban's mindset when he takes the ice Wednesday likely will be focused on defeating the Boston Bruins at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, RDS).
Forgive Subban, though, if perhaps during warmups, or at some point during the game, his mind wanders to the next time the Bruins and Canadiens are scheduled to play.
Subban, you see, has a scenario in his head for the afternoon of Jan. 1 at Gillette Stadium, site of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between his Canadiens and the Bruins. He's been thinking about it since the day the NHL announced which teams would be playing in this season's Winter Classic.
"Let me give you the scenario," Subban said. "Near Boston, Gillette Stadium, 70,000-plus people and P.K. Subban standing on the blue line or on the bench for the national anthem, or possibly scoring a goal in the game. What do you think I look forward to?"
It's got to be everybody booing him.
"You got it," Subban said.
Subban loves hearing the boos.
"Do I ever," Subban said. "Oh, I love it. I love it. It's just funny to me."
Subban laughs out loud at the thought of getting booed at the Winter Classic the way he always gets booed and yelled at and treated as an unwelcome visitor when he's in TD Garden.
He just isn't quite sure why it happens, other than the fact that he's wearing Canadiens colors in enemy territory.
"I still don't know what I've done toward the Bruins," he said. "But somebody once said that they don't boo nobodies."
It was suggested to Subban that maybe he's booed and generally unwelcome in Boston because he, more than anyone else on the Canadiens, puts himself in the public eye and that will generate reactions positive and negative from fan bases everywhere.
"I wouldn't say that I put myself out there," Subban said. "I just think that I don't shy away from critics. I don't shy away from criticism. I really don't shy away from anything. I'd rather just take things head on. That's it. The Winter Classic is a special event so I'm going to drink it all in."
Even if it means ringing in 2016 with the sound of boos being rained down on him. Even better, actually.
"My juices have been flowing for this since the day that they announced that it was coming," Subban said.