I'm not here to stir up controversy or throw a hive bees into anyone's bonnet, but I'm a little concerned about the play of Montreal Canadiens' defenceman PK Subban. Subban's offensive ability is not being called into play here, and there's still some work to be done on his defensive game, but that's not why I'm here tonight either. Instead, I think the comments by Philadelphia Flyers' forward Mike Richards about Subban may hold some weight. What Subban did tonight during the Canadiens-Rangers game was something you just shouldn't see from any player, let alone a solid player like Subban. The problem, however, is that it DID happen, and I want to call him out on this.
Let's head to the videotape. Subban is pursuing New York Rangers' forward Brandon Dubinsky when he does something that every hockey player knows is wrong. Take a look.
Seeing Subban performing one of the most heinous acts in hockey makes me respect him as a player less. Enter Mike Richards, captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, who had some very poignant words about Subban as a player back in November. Speaking to the Team 990 radio, Richards said,
"He's a guy that's come in the league and hasn't earned respect. It's just frustrating to see a young guy like that come in here and so much as think that he's better than a lot of people. You have to earn respect in this league. It takes a lot. You can't just come in here as a rookie and play like that. It's not the way to get respect from other players around the league."Richards was speaking of Subban's cocky attitude on the ice at the time, but this slew-footing incident certainly won't help Subban's reputation in the respect department. So what did Brandon Dubinsky think of Subban's choice of take-down?
"I don’t really want to talk about that guy," Brandon Dubinsky said to the New York Daily News. "I thought it was a slew-foot. He got called for the first one. Should’ve gotten called for the second one. That’s all I want to talk about with that."
Dubinsky is right - it was a slew-foot. There's no denying that it was a slew-foot as the video above clearly shows that Subban slew-footed Dubinsky. It's against the rules, and the fact that Subban got away with it doesn't make it any better. I can't stress this enough: you do NOT slew-foot anyone in hockey. Subban's been playing the game long enough to know this, so I'm not sure what was going through his head as he took Dubinsky to the ice.
I do know this: Subban needs to play the game clean for the rest of the season while keeping his mouth shut. Subban needs to play the game, let his play speak for him, and things will fall into place for him once again. As it stands right now, he has two Atlantic Division teams that think fairly poorly of him, and that's why some players in the NHL have no respect for him.
PK Subban is a very good player, but he needs to start using his head while on the ice in order to clean up this disrespectful reputation he's developing. He can start doing that tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins - another Atlantic Division team.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!