The P.K. Subban naysayers are remarkably quiet on this beautiful Sunday morning after Our Man took control of that game Saturday night against Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche, once again underlining my oft-mentioned point that No. 76 is quite simply the most exciting player to wear a Habs jersey since a chap named Guy Lafleur all those years ago.
As soon as he signed the most lucrative contract in the history of the Canadiens this summer, there were no shortage of people, including the usual ill-informed Toronto-based media types, ready to say Marc Bergevin and the Habs overpaid for the flashy defenseman. But they’re hiding under their desks at the CBC – or is it Rogers? – Broadcast Centre in the Big Smoke right now.
I mean did you see the P.K. Show Saturday night? Wow. He scored two goals en route to the Canadiens’s dramatic 3-2 victory over the Avs. His first goal was business-as-usual for Pernell Karl, the equivalent of a federal bureaucrat shuffling some papers on his desk on a sleepy Friday afternoon.
He slammed a Howitzer of a slap-shot that rocketed by minor-league Avs netminder Calvin Pickard, who, until then, had looked stunning. Yeah Pickard was looking pretty swell until he got up-close-and-personal with a patented P.K. clacker!
But that was nothing compared to the second Subbanator goal. He jumped out of the penalty box and went flying after the puck with the kind of speed usually reserved for Marvel Comics super-heroes, out-hustling Avs D-man Tyson Barrie, who ended up sliding into the side of the net like a Keystone Cops bad guy. That allowed Subban to circle the back of the net and come back out front, to suddenly find himself alone in front of Pickard, to everyone’s surprise, including Subban’s. Then came THE MOVE.
If you don’t believe me, I submit my evidence your honour in the video below.
Then he’s picked as the first star – and yes P.K. is quite right, it could’ve just as easily been Carey Price, who had his first phenomenal game of the season – and TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie does this live interview with him broadcast to the entire Bell Centre and Subban ends it by saying: ‘Merci beaucoup….et bonne nuit’. In one phrase, he spoke more French publicly than Saku did in all those years as captain, but I digress.
The point is the guy’s a phenom on and off the ice, the kind of dream player a team waits decades to get their hands on, which leads to the $72 million question: How is it that the Canadiens came within nanoseconds of potentially effing up the entire P.K. file? How is that Bergevin’s boss had to give him a panicked phone call at the eleventh hour, as the arbitrator was set to make her ruling, to order him to sign P.K.? How did that happen?
Philippe Cantin was on 98.5 this morning and he was saying that Subban is finally able to play with the creative freedom he needs because of the huge contract and Cantin is so right. Michel Therrien would probably love to still be able to bench P.K. on many a night but he can’t sit 72 million bucks on the pine.
Which brings me back to my main mantra – ‘Let P.K. be P.K.!’