|Will Malcolm Subban’s first NHL start come against Canadiens?||02.05.15 at 9:20 pm ET|
Malcolm Subban is due for a start somewhere.
When the Bruins recalled their 2012 first-round pick last week, it was a fun story as the second-year pro got his first regular-season taste of the NHL. All these days later, the fact that he lasted past last weekend (the anticipated length of his callup) brings something else to light: The kid is going on two weeks without playing a game.
That’s the longest stretch this season that Subban, who last played on Jan. 24 for Providence, has gone out of game action since a lower-body injury cost him time in mid-November.
The Bruins have a three-game homestand coming up, including a tough back-to-back against the Islanders and Canadiens this weekend. Asked whether Subban would get one of the starts, Claude Julien responded Thursday with his signature “we’ll see, guys” answer.
To give any goaltender their first NHL start in a Bruins-Canadiens game is the definition of throwing someone into the fire. Add in that Malcolm’s older brother P.K. is Montreal’s Norris-winning assistant captain, and a potential start Sunday would be quite the event. Malcolm admitted his parents would be on the next plane to Boston should it be the case, but he isn’t looking that far ahead.
“It would be pretty cool, but I’m not thinking into it too much,” Malcolm said Thursday. “Just trying to stay focused. Whenever my opportunity comes, hopefully I’ll be ready.”
The Bruins have played Tuukka Rask in both games of four different back-to-backs this season, so the fact that a backup (whether Subban or, should they return him to Providence, Niklas Svedberg) plays this weekend is far from a guarantee. The Canadiens angle does make it interesting from a game plan standpoint, however.
Rask has started two games against the Canadiens this season and is 0-2-0 with seven goals allowed. He was pulled from the teams’ first meeting this season after allowing five goals in an eventual 6-4 loss. The Bruins gave Svedberg the start in Montreal on Nov. 13, with Svedberg surrendering five goals on 34 shots.
The small chance that Subban could begin his NHL career in a Battle of the Subbans comes down to the Bruins’ philosophy with Rask and the Canadiens. Rask is one of the best goaltenders in the world and he doesn’t win a lot against Montreal (3-12-3 lifetime in the regular season). The fact that Rask is one of the best goaltenders in the world is not going to change, but the Bruins can take the Rangers/Henrik Lundqvist approach by simply hiding their star goaltender from the Habs. That worked when the Rangers beat the Habs in six games in the Eastern Conference finals last spring.
So it’s possible that the back-to-backs and Rask’s history could combine to make Subban’s dream debut take place, but it’s also worth considering that the Bruins prioritize their game plan over the neat story. Just ask Michigan native Steven Kampfer, who brought his family to his Joe Louis Arena homecoming when the Bruins faced the Red Wings in 2011, only to learn the night before the game that the B’s would be making him a healthy scratch for the game.
Whether or not Subban plays during this callup or at any point in Boston this season, the 21-year-old has enjoyed his brief NHL stint thus far. He’s seen the improved competition in practice and thinks the non-training-camp exposure to working life in the NHL has been a learning experience.
“Those shots that he’s getting here should be a little bit higher grade than what he gets over there, for obvious reasons,” Julien said. “It’s a good experience for him. We’re trying to groom him into being the goaltender that we expect him to be, and you’ve got to take some steps to do that. This is one of the steps that was part of grooming him.”
|Maria Subban continues to root for Bruins and Canadiens||11.22.14 at 1:44 pm ET|
Maria Subban is one of a small number of people in the world who can claim to be a loyal fan of both the Bruins and the Canadiens. As long as her sons wear their respective team’s jerseys, she will not pick a side.
In town with the Canadiens as part of a mothers’ trip, the matriarch of one of hockey’s most talented families said Saturday that she’s proud of what sons P.K. and Malcolm are doing with the Habs and Bruins, respectively.
“I think it’s great,” Maria said. “I think both organizations are wonderful organizations.”
The Bruins made Malcolm something of a surprise pick in 2012 when they chose the Belleville Bulls goaltender 25th overall. The pick turned heads not only because the Bruins appeared to be set at goalie long-term with Tuukka Rask, but because of his relation to the Montreal defenseman.
P.K. is probably the Derek Jeter or Bernie Williams of the Bruins-Habs rivalry in that the boos he receives at TD Garden only thinly cover up Boston fans’ longing to see him in a Bruins sweater. With P.K. in the first year of an eight-year contract with the Habs, it’s safe to say Boston fans won’t be getting their wish, even if they’ll never admit to having it.
Malcolm, on the other hand, could very well play in Boston one day. He’s currently in his second season in Providence, though he’s currently battling a lower-body injury.
“I think he was really surprised, because of P.K. and Boston, but he’s happy and he loves it there,” Maria said. “He’s doing really well.”
Through nine games, Malcolm is 4-3-1 with a .923 save percentage and 2.59 goals-against average. P.K. admitted that in addition to keeping in touch with Malcolm and Jordan (a 19-year-old fourth-round pick of the Canucks still playing in Belleville of the OHL), he’s eager to see how they’re performing as well.
“I always know a little bit about each of them, what’s going on,” P.K. said. “Obviously to me, they’re my brothers. I don’t know how much I pay attention to the hockey side of thing [vs.] them actually being my brothers. They’re family, so obviously I always talk to them. My parents should be proud of not just all three boys, but all five kids, and my sisters as well.”
The Bruins appear set at backup goaltender with Niklas Svedberg, but Malcolm could begin to knock on the NHL‘s door in the coming years. That means that one day Maria will have her hands full when she makes her trips to the Garden.
“I’ll root for both of them. You’ve got two kids; you’ve got to root for both of them,” she said. “You can’t pick or choose, otherwise I’m going to be a hated mom.”
|P.K. Subban gets picture taken with Bobby Orr: ‘He truly is the best defenseman to ever play the game’||at 12:47 pm ET|
P.K. Subban is one of the most talented defensemen in the NHL and, at age 25, already has one Norris Trophy to his name. No accomplishment, however, will ever make him too cool to ask Bobby Orr for a picture when he gets the chance.
With the Bruins great in the building Saturday morning to take in Montreal’s morning skate, Subban crossed paths with the Hall of Famer, asked for a photo and took to Instagram.
Orr strolled through the media room shortly after the photo was posted. Asked whether he or Subban had requested the photo, Orr simply laughed. Subban put that mystery to rest quickly after Montreal’s morning skate.
“Oh no, it was definitely me who asked for the picture. He’s the legend, right? I posted as soon as I got it on Instagram,” Subban told WEEI.com. “It’s pretty special for me as a defenseman to be able to interact with someone as great as Bobby Orr. He really truly is the best defenseman to ever play the game. I’m very lucky to still be able to see him around and talk to him.”
Added Subban: “It’s funny, I met him when I was 15 — that was 10 years ago – and he looks exactly the same. He hasn’t changed at all. I don’t know what he’s doing, but he should keep doing it.”
|If Tuukka Rask plays, P.K. Subban says Canadiens must ‘make his life a living hell’||11.13.14 at 11:52 am ET|
“They said the same thing about Henrik Lundqvist last year,” Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban said. “He seemed to play pretty well.”
Indeed, Lundqvist did.
After not winning in Montreal since 2009 and being sat in games at the Bell Centre since 2012, the Rangers’ netminder went into Montreal and allowed three goals over the first two games (both Rangers wins) of the Eastern Conference finals last year. New York would go on to win the series in six games.
Rask has a career record of 3-11-3 against the Habs in the regular season overall, and is 3-6-0 against them in Montreal (4-7-0 including playoffs). He also lost two of his three starts against them at the Bell Centre last postseason, though his one win was a shutout. The goaltender also blanked them in Montreal in the 2009-10 season. He’s actually been worse against the Habs at the Garden than he’s been at the Bell Centre.
It isn’t like Rask has been a disaster against the Canadiens, but then again, not beating the Canadiens qualifies as a disaster for the Bruins.
“I wouldn’t look too much into it,” Subban said. “When he comes to this building, whenever we play Boston, it seems that we do a good job of getting traffic in front of him and not make it easy on him. It’s not an easy building to play in, but to say that he can’t have a good game here — I mean, I think he’s one of the best goalies in the league. He’s proven that and he’s played well against us at time.
“To be honest with you, when you see some of the goals that we’ve scored, we’ve done a good job of creating traffic. It’s not easy stopping second and third shots. We’ve had a couple of breakaways against him — that’s a 50-50 chance — so I think if we’re not prepared to get traffic in front of him tonight and make his life a living hell, then I don’t think we’re doing ourselves justice.”
|P.K. Subban: Canadiens ‘don’t care about the fireworks’||10.16.14 at 12:23 pm ET|
BROSSARD, Quebec — P.K. Subban had enough fun last postseason against the Bruins, but that’s probably because his team won.
So as he looks forward to the Canadiens’ home opener against the Bruins Thursday night, he says he isn’t thinking about how the scoreboard looks at the end of the game.
“I’m sure you guys want me to say that there’s going to be fireworks, and I don’t know. Our focus is winning the game,” Subban said after Thursday’s morning skate at Bell Sports Complex. “We don’t care about the fireworks, the dance, the crowd. No. We’ve got to focus on what we can control, and that’s how we play. The final result’s the most important thing.”
Subban had seven points (four goals, three assists) in Montreal’s second-round victory against Boston last postseason. Preseason aside, Thursday will mark the first time the teams play at Bell Centre since Montreal forced a Game 7 last May with a 4-0 win in Game 6.
Subban says the biggest factor Thursday will be the fact that the Habs are in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.
“I think you do get hyped up for it,” he said. “You get hyped up for a home opening game. Everybody does. That’s why they’re so tough to play on the road. So tough to play in home openers because home teams get so hyped up for them. We’ll be ready to go.”
|Milan Lucic vents after Dale Weise says Bruins forward was threatening Habs||05.14.14 at 10:43 pm ET|
No one was more furious with Canadiens playing the disrespect card after a 3-1 Game 7 win over the Bruins than Milan Lucic. Then again, the Canadiens weren’t exactly happy with Lucic. Specifically, Habs forward Dale Weise said that Lucic was threatening players in the handshake line.
Weise says Lucic threatened him in the handshake and said something similarly threatening to Emelin. Emotional series ends with tough words.
‘ Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 15, 2014
Lucic was as upset with Weise sharing their exchange with the media.
“That’s said on the ice, so it’ll stay on the ice,” Lucic said. “So if he wants to be a baby about it, he can make it public.”
The Canadiens had said over the last two days that they felt disrespected by the Bruins throughout the series. Boston celebrated goals with a chest-pound — something Claude Julien said after the series was meant to be a “Boston Strong” gesture — while Shawn Thornton squirted P.K. Subban with a water bottle at the end of Game 5.
The Bruins were confused by the Habs’ overuse of the word “disrespect,” but Lucic was furious.
“Disrespect? I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Lucic vented. “Disrespect? Having a goal celebration, what kind of disrespect is that? I’m not going to say anything. I’ve got nothing to say about that.”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘Montreal doesn’t have an answer for Carl Soderberg’||05.12.14 at 2:57 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Bruins and Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The Bruins took a 3-2 series lead on Saturday by defeating the Canadiens by a score of 4-2 in Game 5 at TD Garden. Four skaters scored for Boston, while Tukka Rask recorded 31 saves in the contest.
“The Boston Bruins played a tremendous game. They had a good start, they had tremendous supplemental offense from the third line, which Montreal doesn’t have an answer for, with Carl Soderberg, Matt Fraser and obviously Loui Eriksson,” McGuire said. ‘Their penalty killing was very solid until the P.K. Subban ripper.
“I thought, quite frankly, that it was Boston playing a very good game and Montreal not playing up to their normal level because Boston didn’t allow it.”
Soderberg was particularly impressive in Boston’s last game, scoring his first goal of the postseason and adding two assists in the win. McGuire said that Soderberg’s size and playmaking ability has caused problems for Montreal throughout this series.
“As a smaller team, Montreal doesn’t have an answer for Carl Soderberg,” McGuire said. “If you’re going to win a series, you need to have an X-factor player — someone that doesn’t get canceled out. The X-factor player so far in this series has been Carl Soderberg.”
Added McGuire: “Montreal doesn’t have an answer size-wise and skilled-wise for the depth of the Boston Bruins lineup. That’s the biggest issue that’s haunting them.”
Boston has the tall task of eliminating Montreal in the Habs’ home, the Bell Centre. The Canadiens posted a 23-13-5 record during the regular season and sit at 3-1 this postseason when playing in the friendly confines of their home arena.
“[The Bruins are] a different team when they play here,” McGuire said. “They play a much smarter brand in terms of penalty management. … They play a more physical, attacking style in Boston, they’re really comfortable playing and they want to provide that for their fans. When they go on the road, they want to take the crowd out of it and I thought they did a really great job in Game 4 in taking the crowd out of it and taking P.K. Subban out of it.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On the potential return of Dennis Seidenberg in the Eastern Conference finals: “I had a really nice visit with Dennis on Saturday night before the game. I would say that there’s a very good chance, if the Bruins were to progress, that he would be back for that next round.”
On what Matt Fraser has brought to the third line over the last two games: “[He brings] better board play and the ability to maintain a cycle and dominate the defense and put duress on Carey Price because of that cycle play. … He can shoot the puck. He can shoot the puck from in tight and elevate it or he can shoot the puck from about 20 feet and get it there with a lot of velocity, so that makes a difference.”
On Shawn Thornton spraying Subban with water during Game 5: “As soon as the play was blown dead, I saw that [Subban] was angry and that there was some water on his visor. … Obviously, it was Shawn. He pays a price, he pays the fine. … I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, quite frankly.”
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