During the NHL lockout that delayed the start of this season, P.K. Subban did some media work with Sportsnet on radio and television. On Tuesday, the Canadiens defenceman was back on the airwaves, joining Darren Millard, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central at Noon show.
Meanwhile, RDS and Radio-Canada reported Tuesday that Francois Allaire has agreed to a three-year contract to become the new goaltending coach for the Colorado Avalanche under head coach Patrick Roy. Allaire was the Canadiens’ goaltending coach when Roy played for the Habs. Allaire’s name had been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Pierre Groulx, who was let go as goaltending coach by the Canadiens on Monday.
On the Hockey Central at Noon show, MacLean told Subban that he was “thrilled” the defenceman was a finalist for the Norris Trophy, but wondered how the Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara could have been left off the list.
“Explain that to me?” MacLean asked.
“I agree … he’s a dominant player,” said Subban, who is a Norris Trophy finalist along with Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Minnesota’s Ryan Suter. “But like I said, there’s also a bunch of other guys that could get nominated, too, who didn’t get nominated. I mean, Chara’s the guy … he’s always going to be in the conversation every year. He’s won it before and he’ll probably win it again.”
Subban added that he wasn’t thinking about the Norris Trophy when he got a late start to the season following the lockout and a contract dispute.
“My mindset going in was just like I’m just going to take it one game at a time and just try to help the team,” he said. “I remember the meeting I had with Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien in Ottawa when I got there. The first thing I said is, ‘Listen, I just want to help the team and you guys have gotten off to a great start’ – which they did … I think they were 4-1 at that time. That night we didn’t do too well. I was sitting in the press box and I think we lost 5-1 or something to Ottawa. So I don’t know if I kind of jinxed the whole great start. But things started to come together after that.”
Subban added that he thinks the Canadiens surprised a lot of people by winning the Northeast Division title and finishing second in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.
“You got to look at the bright spots: (Brendan) Gallagher, (Alex) Galchenyuk, (Brandon) Prust, (Lars) Eller,” Subban said. “But Gallagher and Galchenyuk, I mean who would have thought that they would be as good as they were? Especially Gallagher … he didn’t even play in the opening game.”
Subban also spoke about the loss of defenceman Alexei Emelin with a knee injury.
“He’s really good because he brings a lot of things to the table, right?” Subban said of Emelin, who required reconstructive surgery. “First of all, he’s like 26, 27, so he’s not particularly a young guy. He’s got some experience, he’s physical.
“He’s a first-unit penalty killer, he can play on your first, second D pairing … he can play anywhere. We lost that … he was a big loss. The biggest thing that I think we lost is his physicality. Because we’re obviously not the biggest team and he brings that physical edge, so that helped a lot.”
Subban told the Hockey Central panel that he is on Day 9 of a 21-day no-carb diet that he is doing for the fourth straight offseason. The diet consists mostly of steak, salmon and chicken.
“Whatever runs, swims or flies,” Subban said.
You can watch the video of Subban’s interview on Hockey Central by clicking here.
(Photo by Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)