Sometime after landing in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Montreal Canadiens
rookie defenseman P.K. Subban will have to find a clothing store to buy himself some threads. He'll need a few more outfits if the Canadiens win Game 7 Wednesday night and he sticks around for the second round against Pittsburgh.
"I packed for just a game," Subban told NHL.com after Montreal's 4-1 defeat of Washington win in Game 6 Monday of the teams' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. "I didn't know what was going on and I didn't really have much time to figure it out."
Subban's packing late Sunday basically consisted of him throwing a few things in a bag, zipping it up and heading to Toronto to catch an early morning flight. He didn't get wind of his recall until after he helped the Hamilton Bulldogs finish the Manitoba Moose in a first-round Calder Cup playoff series.
"I woke up at 5 this morning and I had to fly out of Toronto to get here. I didn't have breakfast and last night I had to drive out right after my game so I didn't eat dinner. I mean, I'm tired and maybe a little low on energy, but I'm happy in the end that we won the game and I had the ability to contribute a little bit because that always helps. I'm looking forward to the rest of the way here." -- P.K. Subban
Subban flew to Montreal early Monday and made it in time for the Canadiens' morning skate at Bell Centre. Hours later, he had the primary assist on what turned into the game-winning goal in the victory that evened the series, 3-3. Game 7 will be Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).
He at least was able to get in a 90-minute nap before Game 6.
"It's been a long one," he said of the entire day. "I woke up at 5 this morning and I had to fly out of Toronto to get here. I didn't have breakfast and last night I had to drive out right after my game so I didn't eat dinner. I mean, I'm tired and maybe a little low on energy, but I'm happy in the end that we won the game and I had the ability to contribute a little bit because that always helps. I'm looking forward to the rest of the way here."
The news of Subban's re-call arguably was the biggest story in Montreal on Monday. The Canadiens even had to hide him from the media after the morning skate because the demands were so great and everybody in the bi-lingual media contingent wanted to hear from him. Twitter was blowing up with tweets about Subban.
People were curious if the 20-year-old kid from Toronto, the No. 43 pick of the 2007 Entry Draft who had only two games of NHL experience behind him, could handle playing in the same game as Alex Ovechkin
, Alexander Semin
and Nicklas Backstrom
Subban didn't understand what the fuss was all about.
"People always question me, and why I don't know," he said. "I don't think about it. I just come to play when I get my opportunity. If people want to look for excuses to say why I shouldn't be here, I'm not worried about it. I just play and try to help the team."
Habs coach Jacques Martin used Subban as the seventh defenseman. He played 14 shifts totaling 10:02, including more than three minutes on the power play. He had the assist on Michael Cammalleri
's second goal, and also was credited with two hits and a blocked shot.
"We expected to use him at different times in the game against certain people and we did that," Martin said. "We used him on the second power-play unit. I think he filled a role that we were expecting him to fill."
Subban definitely heard the crowd chanting his name during his first shift of the game.
"Oh, that was good," he said. "It's a good feeling to have the crowd supporting me and on my side. Once again, I'm happy that they support me and you just have to keep playing. I can't focus on anything else but playing hockey.
"I'm glad I could help my team. It's great for my confidence."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl