Subban scratch wasn’t punishment: Martin

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | P.K Subban | Subban again | Yannick Weber

Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin said today he wasn’t punishing defenceman P.K. Subban by making him a healthy scratch against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

The scratch, Martin said, was part of the maturation process for a rookie defenceman. And with seven healthy defencemen, he added, there are roster decisions to be made.

Martin wouldn’t commit to returning Subban to the roster for Saturday’s matinee at the Bell Centre against the San Jose Sharks.

EARLIER: It was advertised, upon arrival, as an optional practice for the Canadiens in Brossard. But it seems that only four players haven’t laced up: Tomas Plekanec, Scott Gomez, Michael Cammalleri and Josh Gorges.

The San Jose Sharks, who flew in last night from Ottawa (!) after their pounding of the Senators, are expected to skate their full team at noon.

Updates to come. Stay tuned to Twitter for live coverage, as it were.


  1. Say Ash says:

    Ah, nice, you’ve been working on it. Lappy’s hat trick is still better, though: a goal, a dive, and a turtle.

  2. 24 Cups says:

    1) Not that I remember.  Isn’t it usually Pleks, Gill and Gorges that get the assignment?

    2) No, Boone and Stubbs are.

    3) That depends if you count Gomez’s ‘accidental ‘ goals as being real or not:-) Just teasing, HH!!!

  3. avatar_58 says:

    Why not try Cammy with Eller and Pouliot? I don’t this insistance on pairs that Martin has. Moen should only be used in defensive or energy scenarios – not on scoring lines. Gomez….I don’t even know anymore. He moves the puck well on the PP, keep him there. However I want Eller to get more time than him and that should not come with less ice time for Cammy. I bet Eller + Cammy would be a working combo

  4. Ayan_SB says:

    Rich Chere

    John MacLean made team watch entire loss to Canadiens on DVD before practice today

  5. joshua94k says:


    If you think the Canadiens have issues to deal with (which defenceman is sitting out, who plays with Gomez, when Price get to rest etc) the Toronto Maple Leafs are having a lot worse problems.

     During the drive this morning, a radio talk show heard stories about a group getting together to sue the Leafs (HNIC, TSN, SportsNet are also included in the lawsuit)

    Their claims include:

    • false advertising (their powerplay will be deadly with many options – they are dismally in the bottom one third)
    • misleading the public with false claims (calling Clarke Mac Arthur the next Mike Bossy – he hasn’t scored in the last 13 games).

    • breach of trust (trading away their future 1st round draft picks for Kessel)


      brainwashing (calling Nazem Kadri the next Sidney Crosby)

    • misappropriation of funds (charging the highest ticket prices in the league for a minor league quality team)

    • causing mental torture (forcing viewers outside Toronto to watch the dull, dreadfull Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada)

    • robbery (when season tickets went on sale GM Burke boldly claimed that this team is ready to make the play-offs)

    • feigning ignorance (what asked what is wrong with the team – Burke says he really doesn’t know what is wrong)

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  6. andrewberkshire says:

    1) Nope, we haven’t.

    2) No, sometimes Lidstrom and Rafalski play together.

    3) Yes.

  7. TB says:

    That’s funny because it is true – no one will care about Martin and PK will be the best player – but he will be the best player because of Martin’s work developing him into that top player

    on Webber I disagree – if they didn’t think he was NHL ready they wouldn’t of called him up and they wouldn’t of traded O’Byrne

  8. avatar_58 says:

    Look I love me some subban but the fans should never influence hockey decisions

  9. SLONCOLD says:

    pouliot hat trick:

    – score a goal

    – trip on the blue line

    – crash into the boards

  10. nunacanadien says:

    Maybe Martin should have laced up Gomez, the man gets overpaid.  Heck maybe Martin should have Gomez practicing those accidental goals, as that is the only way Gomez scores these days.

  11. Say Ash says:

    I blame that speed bumb at the blue line.

  12. SmartDog says:

    Good story (Richard). I like it.  It’s 100% bang-on.  Even stars need to have structure around them… it’s up to the coach to do that.


    “This is a good hockey team and no matter what situation you’re put in, you’re out there with smart hockey players.” – Jeff Halpern after his winning goal against the Laffs

  13. Say Ash says:

    Random questions I’m too lazy to look up:

    1) Have we given up a goal this season 5-on-3?

    2) Are Hammer and the Spatch the oldest pairing in the league?

    3) Was Pyatt the last forward without a goal?

  14. habs001 says:

    if weber can contribute to the pp and offense this would be huge …teams with several mobile d generate  more offense as the d really helps out the forwards.. it looks like we will have room to add an impact player at the trade line…looking at the nhl landscape there are very few super elite teams …while we are several years away from being a top elitet team(3-4 of our prospects have to pan out) a long and dare i say a championship run this year is not out of the question…right now the 2011 stanley cup winner will not be know as one of the top teams in nhl history so i think the race is pretty open

  15. JFriedman says:

    If the Habs Brass knows where there $$$$ comes from PK will be in the line-up…

  16. Timo says:

    All very astute observations. Thanks, Joey.

  17. forskis says:

    Don’t get me wrong…I love it when he plasters someone through the boards…it is those open-ice, send them to tomorrow hits that for some reason are not jiving with me…it might be because it appeared to me that he went out of his way to do it, who knows…but also those hits, especially when clean, he will then have to drop the gloves and defend himself and I do not want him to pull a Chris Stewart and put himself out for 6 weeks.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  18. Timo says:

    Now, you should know that he was out with two women last night…

  19. 24 Cups says:

    “(as opposed to the silly response I gave you below)”

    Dave – Now that you mention it, I have noticed that many of your posts this year seem to be quite silly:-)

  20. 24 Cups says:

    likehoy – LMAO.

  21. CHsam says:

    Dude. What other coach would you rather have? and what system ?

    I’m not a hockey player or coach, but I like the idea of having our forwards contribute defensively so that when we gain puck possession, the forwards move up together and gain the zone with some momentum from our own end, and with Dmen in support. I mean, if we had a Crosby or Stamkos, sure, I’d probably prefer a different game.. but as it stands, I think the “system” suits our group of committed vets and rookies.

  22. Morenz7 says:

    Love the avatar! Those powder blue jackets were the best ..

  23. HabsTrueBlue says:

    Me too and I think in time he’ll fine-tune his checking so that he misses less often. The NHL players are quicker and better at evading checks. He just needs time to sort out that part of his game.

  24. JIMVINNY says:

    And that’s why you aren’t a coach in the NHL, and Martin is.  Besides, your little signature at the bottom of your every post kind of takes away any cred you might have had.

  25. rocketsglare says:

    No problem my friend.


    Go Habs Go!

  26. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah, that’s kinda what I meant. Not sacrificing so much on the break, making sure he’s got coverage at the back, etc.

    Picking his moments to be offensive, but prioritizing his defensive responsibilities.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  27. JIMVINNY says:

    RE: your second paragraph – Are you saying that you don’t want to see PK laying devastating but clean hits?  Those are EXACTLY the type of hits we should want to see.  Obviously, I’d prefer that he doesn’t miss, but it’s quite often that we see our smaller forwards get plastered as they go across the opposing blue line, and also quite a while since we’ve had a d-men that will make hits like that.  His offensive brain farts are one thing, but I don’t even want to see him stop hitting like that.

  28. Mark C says:

    Eller – is barely performing EVENTHOUGH he has great talent

    Eller isn’t putting up big numbers, but he looks great out there in his limited role and seems to be turing a corner (4 points in last 5 games).

    Pouliot has been mostly lost this season, and banished from the top 6 more often than not.

    Benny is on a 16 goal and over 40 point pace while getting less than 12 minutes a game. Benny averages a point every 23 minutes played, and is third on the team in hits, how does he look lost?

    Pyatt is a non factor except when he uses his pure speed to kill penalties

    Leads the team’s forwards in SH ice time on the #1 PK team in the league. Yeah, a real non-factor player there.


  29. HabsTrueBlue says:

    I agree that PK needs to work on adjusting his point slapper for the NHL but in all fairness he has more SOG than all the other Hab defencemen and most of the forwards too.

  30. Mattyleg says:

    …and those pesky cracks on the ice! Who put those there?! Seriously?!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  31. HabsTrueBlue says:

    PKs defensive game is pretty good. He just needs time to figure out what works in the NHL and what doesn’t work and to rein in his tendency to try to do too much at times.

  32. ed lopaz says:

    It seems quite peculiar to play a guy 25 minutes and then bench him the next game as the 7th D-man.

    1 or 2 mistakes aside – these things happen throughout the game – and they happen OFTEN to Spacek and Hamrlik almost every game.

    I don’t see the d-men on this team the same as Martin does.

    I have PK head and shoulders ahead of Hamrlik and Spacek – who, eventhough they are clearly ageing and desperately need the rest – NEVER SIT OUT. NEVER.

    After Markov, I believe Pk is our next most valuable d-man.

    That’s my view on things, but clearly not shared on this site.

    I love my country, that does not mean I support the present government. I love the Habs, that does not mean I support the present Habs management.

  33. Mattyleg says:

    Just a little clarifier here, Eddie: The GM is the one that brought in the players, and the coach is responsible for getting the results from them.

    Soooooo…. ?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  34. Mattyleg says:

    To be more fair, he turned up to training camp overweight and out of shape.

    He rested on his laurels, realized too late he had to play another season, tried to get going quickly, and got a groin injury.

    I’m far happier with Pooler.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  35. ed lopaz says:

    SF – I’m very calm. :-))

    Look at the pre season projections for all of those young players you mention.

    Eller – is barely performing EVENTHOUGH he has great talent

    Pouliot has been mostly lost this season, and banished from the top 6 more often than not.

    Pyatt is a non factor except when he uses his pure speed to kill penalties

    AK 46 – yes. I agree. I like the way he is playing “for his contract” (quote from Habs brass)

    So I don’t agree that our youth are doing so well under Martin.

    And I TOTALLY DIAGREED with the benching, and the lies that Martin is spewing about it today.

    My concerns about Martin did not disappear over the summer.

    That’s my right as a Habs fan – I love the players – but I can’t stand the coach or the GM.

    I love my country, that does not mean I support the present government. I love the Habs, that does not mean I support the present Habs management.

  36. HabsTrueBlue says:

    I’m not so sure about Pacs on that line. Both he and Poulio are left-wingers.

  37. punkster says:

    Yes, I have that affect on…no, wait…!

  38. punkster says:

    Oh crap. There I go trying to be funny and I blow it. Then you go and blow the whistle on me. Now I can’t even edit my comment.

    Deepest and most humble apologies my friend 🙂

  39. joshua94k says:

    Look for PK Subban to be in the line-up tomorow. After hearing his interview and comments about sitting out the last game, one can tell he is not pleased. That’s the attitude of a winner. He knows he made some critical mistakes the last game and he was the first one to admit it. He knows there are no guaranateed spots on the team, whether it is in the line-up, ice time, speciality teams etc. It has to be earned. He’ll have an amazing game tomorrow. There is a reason he has logged the most ice time for most nights this season.

    It seems Martin was using Subban to send a message to the rest of the team. A young Maurice Richard had the same thing happen to him. When coach Irvin told him he won’t be in the line-up one day, Richard slammed the door and walked out of the dressing room in anger. Irvin looked at one of the Canadiens’ players and said “that’s the type of player I want on my team”.   

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  40. punkster says:

    In a serious mode (as opposed to the silly response I gave you below) JM is no rookie coach and he’s no slouch plus PK isn’t a fool and he’ll understand the message. On top of that playing Weber is a bonus for us in that we get to see if he can handle the bigs. He did OK and will get another shot soon, hopefully to allow one of the vets a rest. PK ain’t going anywhere but up man. He’s a rock.

  41. forskis says:

    Both Gomez and Cammy are struggling but sometimes, being away from the ice helps in getting one’s head in order.

    I am not sure why people are saying that Cammy is struggling…he may be paid to score goals, but he is also paid to put up points and he is getting plenty of assists so far.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  42. likehoy says:

    I think pouliot’s greatest weakness is gravity.

    – Gomez is holding down the suck button

  43. joeybarrie says:

    Well there is his contract….. As well as his NHL stats…….There is the fact that he is on the Montreal Canadiens website…. BUT THE MOST CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE IS THIS…. I saw him play for the Montreal Canadiens last night…. As far as I know they are still considered an NHL team. Despite the obvious lack of EVERYTHING some people seem to think they have.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  44. jbroderi says:



    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  45. forskis says:

    Regarding the PK scratch, I am of the opinion that it was the right thing to do…he is a rookie and still prone to making errors and bad judgement calls so it is ok for him to be scratched to get a different point of view of what is going on.

    Besides, the Oilers game was his worse so far in his career and his risk-taking did not pay off this time for those last two goals.  I am also of the mind that karma was paying him back for those two goals:  at the start of the first period in that game he went for two annihilation hits (though clean) just as the opposing players crossed the red line and he went flying in, he missed both, they may have been great hits, they may have been borderline, but seeing it happen so early and with PK as the instigator did not sit well with me.  I know he can hit and hit hard and well, but not in that manner/style.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  46. DearyLeary says:

    To be fair, Gui! is injured right now and it’s hard to project his stats.

  47. Julie H says:

    Oh Punkster, you make me smile.

    “I know you’re wise beyond your years, but do you ever get the fear that your perfect verse is just a lie you tell yourself to help you get by?”

  48. Harani says:

    Priceless! Who let you out?

    “It must be love!”

  49. mbplekfan says:

    Pouliot is on pace for over 20 goals and 40 points. Thats certainly better production than we were seeing from Gui!

    He is scoring regularly and playing some really good hockey. Pairing him with Eller should pay dividends for them both and it wont be long before Pacioretty fills out that line.

  50. joeybarrie says:


    Price not good enough, PG made a mistake.

    Gomez not good enough Gainey made a mistake.

    Hamr too old, not good enough anymore.

    Gill too slow, not good at all.

    Cammalleri too indifferent and not a solid scorer.

    Gionta too small.

    Pouliot not good enough, will never be a top 2 line player.

    JM a dinosaur, hasnt won anything in his career.

    PG is Bob Gainey lite, and will only continue to hurt this team.

    So ok, there is alot more bashing but you have to ask yourself this question….



    Because this is a very talented team who is doing very well so far this season. The following reasons are why we are successful:

    The entire Montreal Canadiens team……

    The entire Montreal Canadiens coaching staff….

    The entire Montreal Canadiens management…..

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  51. habs fan from stonyplain says:

    the way cammy is playing he should be at all practices optional or not he really needs to get his game in order

  52. rocketsglare says:

    Hey, punkster, you meant Lopaz, right? Because I am LOPEZ and I did not write that post you seem to

    be taking issue with.


    Go Habs Go!

  53. SeriousFan09 says:

    You need to chill out, this is not the first time, nor the last time a blue-chip player with star potential has been benched for a night, especially when his own mistakes were involved in it.

    Lars Eller, Benoit Pouliot Tom Pyatt, Andrei Kostitsyn are all performing well under Mean Old Jacques I’d add. Young players responding to his coaching, how about that?

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  54. Chuck says:

    “I love the Habs, that does not mean I support the present Habs management.”

    Ed, have you stopped to consider that you’re able to love this Hab team because of the present Hab management?

    Centre Hice: one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens

  55. Mattyleg says:

    Totally. I’d love to see that shot on the PP!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  56. HabFanSince72 says:

    Anyone with time on their hands, could you please search the  wikileaks database for evidence of NHL perfidy?

    250,000 cables – there has to be something about their obvious manipulation of officials and franchises to disadvantage Canadian teams.

    I just know it.



  57. Timo says:

    then I shall look forward to Hammer, Spach or Gill spending an occasional game in a press box… to rest.

  58. Chuck says:

    I think that you’d have a tough time keeping Gorges out of the lineup against his former team.

    Centre Hice: one fan’s attachment to the Montreal Canadiens

  59. rocketsglare says:

    What a goal by Pouliot. Now, if he can do that regularly, the Habs will have a credible big man who can

    skate, shoot, and score. That would be a big lift to this team’s offense.


    Go Habs Go!

  60. Mattyleg says:

    Just a quick comment on the 3 stars:


    I used to look forward to seeing who the stars were, because it would give a very good indication of how the team played, and how the players looked on the ice.

    Now it’s like watching my PS3 pick the stars: Anyone who scores gets a star, more assists = higher star. Forget about defensemen, or people playing close-checking hockey and racking up hits.

    Gill should’ve been the first star a few games ago, and he didn’t even get a look-in.

    Stop giving the Molson Cup for this, because it’s just a fan-popularity contest.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  61. punkster says:

    Write this down, Ed, you freakin dinosaur.

    5 years from
    now, no one in Montreal will give a hoot’s arsse what rock you’ll be
    hiding under, and Pk will have become one of the great Canadien
    defencemen and possibly the team captain.

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

    The Habs have an interesting team – IN SPITE of ed lopez,

  62. Mattyleg says:

    Uh, calm down Ed?

    We’re doing fine, and we just won a game 5-1 with Subban on the bench. That doesn’t mean that sitting him was a bad idea. PK has to work on the defensive aspect of his game. That’s clear to everyone, including the coach.

    And we’re at the top of the division. And our PP is getting on track.

    Dunno what you’re griping about. Did JM steal your parking space at Costco?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  63. Harani says:

    Timo, Weber is not a replacement for PK, he’s just another defenseman the Habs have developed in hopes on being in the Top. 4 a la Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook. At this point, even though Picard is playing steady D, we need to work Weber in. With Gill, Hammr’s contracting ending this year. And the uncertainty with Markov, the Habs have almost no help on D.

    San Jose is a good team with lots of speedy and big forwards and it should provide a good assessment of Weber’s NHL capabilities. Let’s give the kid a chance. Personally , I thought he played really well last night. Just did what he had and there were many situations where he could have panicked and had he made a mistake, we would just said rookie mistake. But he didn’t and he has a bullet that hits the net something PK needs to work on doing more) P.K. is good but Weber has also paid his dues in the AHL for the past two years and deserves a shot. 

    “It must be love!”

  64. joeybarrie says:

    Funny to me that alot of people were syaing the same thing about PK only 40 games ago…

    I can absolutely prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Yannick Weber is in fact a NHL defenseman… If you want to hear it.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  65. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t really see any player as a replacement for another.

    You can’t really replace a player with another; each brings his own attributes (I hate the term ‘skill-set’. It sounds like something you can buy online) and I think that Weber had a good game, and that he was certainly more defensively responsible than PK has been recently.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  66. ed lopaz says:

    Write this down, Jacques, you freakin dinosaur.

    5 years from now, no one in Montreal will give a hoot’s arsse what rock you’ll be hiding under, and Pk will have become one of the great Canadien defencemen and possibly the team captain.

    There are 6 defencmane on the roster and Yannick Webber – who the Habs have NEVER (until they had to justify benching PK) considered NHL ready.

    I HOPE Pk sits again – so that a few more people will start waking up to the nonsense this coach is spewing to the media.

    The Habs have an interesting team – IN SPITE of Martin,


    I love my country, that does not mean I support the present government. I love the Habs, that does not mean I support the present Habs management.

  67. Hockey Socks says:

    The Gorges injury concerns me. It’s not the playoffs, why risk injuring him further?

  68. punkster says:

    Naaa, but the kid needs some time with the big boys and the team needs to rest some of the vets during this pre-Xmas crush of games. He’ll make mistakes and get dumped on by the commentartiat bu the experience will do him good. Is he ready for the bigs? We’ll see now won’t we?

  69. Timo says:

    Maybe, but are we seriously thinking that Weber is an adequate replacement to Subban?

  70. J_P says:

    It was certainly an ecouraging performance though. 

  71. SeriousFan09 says:

    In two hours, Pat Hickey, Mike Boone and Dave Stubbs are taking over Team 990 radio.

    I hope I can get home to hear the online stream before the CRTC pulls the station’s broadcast license.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  72. Timo says:

    7 defensemen, but only 6 NHL defensemen. Weber is yet to show anything that would make him an NHLer. Again, last night’s game is not an indication as far as Weber is concerned.

  73. Propwash says:

    If Georges is hurt, I’d give him the day off tomorrow as well, and put PK back in.


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

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