Subban’s role with Team Canada remains a mystery

Canadiens fans have two big questions heading into the Sochi Olympic hockey tournament:

Will Carey Price be the No. 1 goaltender?

How much ice time will P.K. Subban get?

“I don’t even know the answer to that question,” Team Canada coach Mike Babcock told reporters in Sochi after Tuesday’s practice when Subban’s role with the team was brought up. “There was a whole bunch of guys out there today, and I was watching everyone. I wasn’t thinking about, ‘geez, is P.K. going to get in?’”

For the second straight day, Subban skated on what appeared to be the fourth defence pairing with Dan Hamhuis. The other pairings had Duncan Keith with Shea Weber, Marc-Édouard Vlasic with Drew Doughty, and Jay Bouwmeester with Alex Pietrangelo.

“Hockey is such a big sport in our country, and it’s such a big part of our culture, we take it very seriously,” Subban told reporters after the practice. “The best players, I’m sure, will play. But you look at our team, we have so much talent and so many players that are capable of playing, it’s not a knock on anyone out there playing seven minutes a game, or not playing at all.”

Babcock has yet to announce his goaltending rotation, but is expected to have Price and Luongo split the first two games with Canada facing Norway at noon ET on Thursday and Austria at noon ET on Friday. Canada will play its final preliminary-round game at noon ET Sunday against Finland.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Tuesday’s practice:

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby – Jeff Carter
Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Rick Nash
Patrick Marleau – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Jamie Benn – John Tavares – Patrice Bergeron
Martin St. Louis – Matt Duchene

Duncan Keith – Shea Weber
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Drew Doughty
P.K. Subban – Dan Hamhuis

On another note, happy birthday to former Hab Chris “Knuckles” Nilan, who turned 56 on Tuesday. Nilan will be a guest on this week’s HI/O Show along with Jack Todd, joining sports editor/host Stu Cowan. The show will be taped Wednesday morning and be available on HI/O around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

If you have a question you would like Nilan or Todd to answer on the show, put it in the comments section with this post or email Cowan at scowan@montrealgazette.com

 

(Photo by Jean Levac/Postmedia News)

Where does Subban fit in with Team Canada? by Sean Fitz-Gerald of Postmedia News

Luongo revels in Olympic atmosphere, by Ed Willes of Postmedia News

Complete Olympic hockey coverage, Postmedia News

Top 10 Olympic performances by Canadiens, Canadiens.com

305 Comments

  1. Timo says:

    Ovechkin practices as a point man on PP today. Has he ever played that role in the NHL?

    http://sochi.lenta.ru/news/2014/02/11/ovechkin/

  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …P.K. may begin as 7/8 …but as the tournament progresses, the coaches will begin to acknowledge P.K.’s superior ability to cover space on the big ice

    …by the gold medal game P.K. Will be a top 4 D-man

  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I envision P.K. emerging as one of the heroes of this Olympic team

  4. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I really like the black and red Team Canada uni

    …I don’t understand the issue some of You have with it

    …it’s a dramatically imposing sight

  5. Habilis says:

    I can’t believe that the CBC flew Healy 9000 kilometers. There aren’t even any Loafs on the team.

    Maybe we’ll all get really lucky and he’ll stay there.

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Shirley Temple …unforgettable

    …if there is one human persona that will transcend death, it will be Shirley Temple’s

    …thank you for the joyous memories watching You sing and charm Your way into Our existences Shirley

  7. johnnylarue says:

    Today’s Eureka Moment®: the fashion wizards who came up with the all-black Team Canada uniform motif were huge fans of Bob & Doug Mckenzie…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TojkD7IWuDE

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I must say, above and beyond the ladies, the Sochi Winter Olympics is esthetically the most beautiful visually in My memory

  9. Cape Breton says:

    Cant wait for NHL to start.

  10. DipsyDoodler says:

    Forget Gilligan.

    The real question, UCE, is who did you fancy the most on Scooby Doo.

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …yet, it’s amazing how soon the osmosis of beautiful, lithe and sensual young Russian girls transcend to lumpy old babushkas

    …rather like a butterfly becoming a caterpillar

  12. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m focusing on My all-time favorite Olympic sport …which even exceeds My mania for My Habs

    …the female species …specifically at this time, of the Russian babe persuasion

    …I regret not personally traveling to Sochi for these Olympics …there are too many to count gold medals stimulating My libido among the Russian ladies I have been reveling watching in slow-mo on My 60″ HD these last few dayz

    …explaining, possibly, why You have not seen Me around too often lately :)

    …I reckon some of You would secretly wish the Olympics is a year round event :)

  13. byebyegomez says:

    Ummm…..he’s on the 4th pairing two practices in a row. How much mystery could there be?

    • scotland says:

      thats right. ya notice crosby was with kunitz , sharp with teows, getz with perry……these are the lines they are going/starting with….same with the d. pk is a spare. not a knock on him, but the canadian d is friggin awesome. pk is number 7. tough one. but you can bet he will be totally professional about it

  14. Timo says:

    McLean again… man, I miss Brian Williams.

  15. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Black jersey, black pants, black socks, black skates, black gloves, black helmet…if he had a cape PK would look like Zorro. Brutal

  16. http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/subban-will-have-earn-his-time-the-big-ice.html

    I am gonna laugh my arse off at the fans who hate on PK, of all the d-men going, PK could be the most fit player there, and will outskate everyone of those top 6.

    I can’t remember the last time a single player has this much hate for being on the National Team.

    Every single media story that allows comments turns to PK. I freaking Love it!

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures
    Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

    • “Every One, not everyone” I hate no edit.

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member 29.31.1.20.33

    • Marc10 says:

      He’s definitely polarizing, but I don’t really get why.

      He’s not a cheap shot artist like Marchand. He doesn’t go out of his way to injure opponents like Cooke or Kaleta. He never seems grumpy and always walks around with an infectious ‘joie de vivre’. He’s very well spoken and accommodating with fans and the media. He even goes out of his way to praise opponents, be they that giant douche Chara or Toews or Sid. Raises money for charity. Comes from a super family of accomplished athletes that are involved in their community. Trains like a champion. Plays for his country and wins. Loves him mom… and he’s the kind of player you’d pay good coin to watch.

      What exactly is the problem with PK… other than possibly being too awesome?! I don’t get it. He’s everything you’d want in a superstar and he’s only getting better.

  17. Timo says:

    Why doesn’t Canada do well in xcountry or biathlon? We’ve got snow… Seems like a sport we should be at least competitive at, no?

  18. Timo says:

    Swedish women’s team looks pretty good. Hard to judge really as they play Germans but they look pretty physical and fiesty. Should make for a good match with Canada and/or US.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I like how you try to disguise this post about *the Swedish women’s hockey team* to make it seem like you actually give a damn about how well they play hockey…

      • Timo says:

        I don’t give a damn how well swedes play hockey… just noticed they played it pretty tough physically. But that being said, I am now going to image google their team.

  19. GL says:

    Getting closer to men’s Olympic Hockey – Hope our Girls win Gold!!

  20. Mavid says:

    Gawd I miss hockey..get on with it already..non hockey related Thursday my son finds out if they are having a boy or a girl…I would love a grandson to go along with my princess

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Timo says:

      There is ladies hockey, don’t be such a snob.

      Congrats on another grand baby. How he/she doesn’t end up being a senators fan.

      • Mavid says:

        who you calling a snob ya crab …I watch women’s hockey..the I pad is charging so I can sneak the game in while I attempt to work tomorrow morning .its good but not quite the same..and you know it too…he/she will never be a Sens fan..her other Grandma is a Habs fan too..thank god…

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  21. sweetmad says:

    I am tired of hearing who should play
    We have to wait untill the day,
    Our boys come skating on to the ice,
    I have to say I hope the goalie is Price.

    I am as impatient as all of you
    But there is nothing at all that I can do,
    There is no way the coach will say who’s playing,
    So what is the point of all this baying.

    The time will soon come when we know whats true
    All this wandering will make you blue,
    I don’t care who plays,as long as we win,
    If we don’t then we will throw Babcock into a bin.

    It’s only 2 days then we will see
    What is obvious to you and me
    If we want to win then it should be Price
    But we have to wait till he skates on the ice.

    GO HABS GO_GO CANADA GO

  22. Storm Man says:

    Sounds like this is going downhill fast .

  23. port elgin says:

    Canada has an easy pool. When it comes to the medal rounds Price better be in nets and P.K better be getting a regular shift.

    If not this could go downhill fast.

  24. port elgin says:

    Too much B.S on that Canadian roster, and too much B.S coaching.

    Luongo as the #1?

    No P.K?

    When you have too many players, everyone will try and do too much to keep their spot. Pick a team for G&D’s sake.

    This could go down hill fast

  25. Propwash says:

    I don’t know if anyone saw this yet, but this guy rips into Lou pretty hard.

    http://www.canada.com/olympics/news/advice-roberto-luongo-from-carey-prices-former-backup-goalie-88472

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  26. Un Canadien errant says:

    Is canuckbot the evolution of HIObot? Or are they merely related? Or did they come to sentience independently, but will team up for a trip to Alpha Centauri, like at the end of “Mona Lisa Overdrive”?

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  27. adadi says:

    Just tossed my cookies after reading an article in RDS telling everyone how create MB and MT were in facing the Habs recen putrid play.

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/on-aurait-l-air-fin-si-1.843596

  28. Psycho29 says:

    In an unrelated subject….Happy Birthday Tina Louise….Ginger from Gilligan’s island. 80 Years Old!

    I feel old……

  29. Un Canadien errant says:

    Anyone watching the AHL All-Star skills competition? Magnus Nygren just hit 104.6 mi/hr on the radar gun in the hardest shot competition. He looks like he’s going to win it.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabFab says:

      That is impressive.

    • Stimpy007 says:

      Thats a record in the AHL all star challenge!!

      I thought Shawn Heinz (good ol eganville lad) had 106… somthing. I guess not.

      • Stimpy007 says:

        Nygren is in every event??? Why did he leave again?

        Good in the target shooting too, 4 for 6!!

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          A combination of hating the city of Hamilton, the style of play in the AHL, and the fact that he was getting paid less to play for the Bulldogs than he was back in Sweden.

          The guy is a grown man capable of independent thought, and made a decision about where he wanted to be. It’s up to the Canadiens brass to figure out how to integrate him to the team. Playoffs in Hamilton this year, then straight to the NHL next season, like Raphaël Diaz did?

          • HabFab says:

            Not sure if he is not just an one trick pony.

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            He said he didn’t like the crime and high unemployment in Hamilton. I googled it and found out that both are significantly higher in Stockholm.

            In any case I hope the Habs are talking to him.

          • B says:

            I guess it’s a good thing he didn’t move to Stockholm then :)

            –Go Habs Go!–

    • Marc10 says:

      Nygren has quite the bomb, doesn’t he? Everything I read about the guy reminds me of MAB. A guy with a cannon of a shot who is at best a PP specialist.

      I’m OK with that as long as you have Chris Pronger type next to them when they’re out on the ice… Then it’s not a problem. You can always use nuclear option at the point.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        He is a rightie, so we can pair him up with Jarred Tinordi on a second pairing in a couple years. Let Jarred handle the dirty business of clearing the net and digging in the corners and all that. Magnus just needs to blast in thirty goals a year to earn his keep.

  30. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    That uniform looks like a garbage bag. What is this…Team Canada or the Oakland Raiders?

  31. MikeHabs says:

    I think PK could be like Doughty in 2010 and move up the line up as the tournament goes on. As much as the blue line is pretty strong, I would rather PK be in the line up and thats not because of being a Habs fan. The kid played on a bigger size rink all through his junior career. Yes this was a long time ago now but he still has that experience. Hopefully they give him a real shot at playing.

    Latest Habs prospect update, Andrighetto was on fire: http://www.allaboutthehabs.ca/prospect-update-feb-3-9/

  32. Bozo McBozo says:

    Say it ain’t so. Chris Lee is reffing the Canada/US women’s game tomorrow?

  33. habstrinifan says:

    All this griping about P.K’s role is stupid. P.K. isnt griping. As Doogie said he will come out way better for this experience… if you follow his career you know he will.

    The griping and hand wringing is actually very indicative of how we, as HABS fans, see hockey now. There is very liitle confidence and gusto in our reaction. We gripe about everything from the referee to luck etc etc… afraid to admit that the HABS are solely responsible for their sad standing in today’s hockey world.

  34. habstrinifan says:

    doogieFEBRUARY 11, 2014 AT 5:43 PM
    Even if PK doesn’t play a minute, being involved in an Olympic “camp” for a couple of weeks will help his maturity. Hanging around the best in hockey and listening to the best coach in hockey (that would be Babcock by the way) will only help this kid. Listen and learn PK.
    =================

    Great post doogie. Even if he doesnt play a minute he has earned this opportunity to experience the best of the best.

    Dont know if you saw the clip of Julien describing practice where he said the coaches did NOT WANT players standing around listening to diagrammed schemes… that’s why their practice was up tempo. I havent seen any clips of practice yet but I bet it was flying.

    Also why you saw Crosby going to Babcock as the captain and asking for further explanation of some of the defensive schemes they were shown. As reported many players were a little unclear.

    Great great stuff.

    Real hockey is here.. for a few weeks anyways.

  35. habs001 says:

    I know Bergevin is good at faceoffs but is seems to be he was pulling a Plecks at the last Olympics..losing a lot of faceoffs in the D zone and when he was on the ice they were hemmed in a lot..But maybe that is how it works as they were not scored on that much and the same thing happens with Plecks when his line is out there..they lose faceoffs get dominated in the D zone but dont give up goals..

  36. B says:

    The 2014 AHL All Star Classic kicks off with the skills competition today (6:30 PM Eastern) and the game tomorrow (also at 6:30 PM Eastern). The 6:30 PM Eastern time is due to it being held in St. John’s with an 8:00 PM start their time. Tokarski is the only Bulldog on the AHL team but former Dogs Magnus Nystrom and Shawn Belle will be there for Färjestad (it’s AHL stars vs Färjestad this year). 2012 Hobey Baker winner Jack Connolly also plays for Färjestad. The skills competition and the game are both on Sportsnet One.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  37. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Price should start. No doubt. Case closed.

  38. doogie says:

    Even if PK doesn’t play a minute, being involved in an Olympic “camp” for a couple of weeks will help his maturity. Hanging around the best in hockey and listening to the best coach in hockey (that would be Babcock by the way) will only help this kid. Listen and learn PK.

    • New says:

      The more he hangs around Crosby, Babcock, and this team the better he will be. The only issue about playing is media driven. The team picked PK as 7th or 8th, that’s the hockey people choosing. The Norris is picked by the hockey writers, that’s the writers choosing. Nobody at the IOC ever handed the gold medal to the writers.

  39. DipsyDoodler says:

    How on earth is Tim Peel one of the refs selected for the Olympics?

  40. JohninTruro says:

    B – I think De La Rose could play in the AHL next year because he didn’t play a game in the CHL, different rules I believe…

    • B says:

      Good point John, I forgot about that. The only snag may be if Leksands has to release him but doesn’t want to do so. FYI, I found the following explanation:

      A CHL player whose rights are held by an NHL team is only eligible to play a full season in the AHL if:

      (a) the player will turn 20 years of age by December 31st of the season in question;
      OR
      (b) the player has already completed four seasons of Junior eligibility.

      Note that there are some caveats to this agreement:

      (i) the agreement applies only to players drafted out of the CHL;
      (ii) once a team’s CHL season and/or playoffs has concluded, their players are no longer subject to the agreement (hence the late-season ‘callups’ to the AHL);
      (iii) the agreement will re-apply to each player subject to item (i) above at the start of the next season until the player meets the criteria listed in points (a) and (b) above.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  41. Lafleurguy says:

    Choosing Luongo as the starter based on a performance FOUR years ago is so illogical. In the time since, he lost his starting job on his club team to non-All Star Cory Schneider. In the current season, he’s not even top 5 among the 14 starting keepers in the Western Conference. It’s this type of thinking that moved the Swedish commentator to comment in an interview to say if Team Canada officials thought outside the box, they would be far, very far, ahead of the field. Translation: “Thank God those TC guys are kind of dumb, and it gives the rest of us a real chance.” By the way, Luongo’s performance this year is no better than last season when he lost the starting job to Schneider. He did not have a bounceback year like Price has had.

    “Bends but won’t break”

    • JohninTruro says:

      It’s the old boys club though unfortunately…

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Yup. And it resulted in 5th place in Nagano, and what 7th in Torino? And happily, informed posters pointed out the rink size in Salt Lake City was the same as the one in Torino. Maybe the X factor was the ladies in Torino looked like Russian curlers, and the ones in Salt Lake City looked like American curlers.

        “Bends but won’t break”

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Conservative? Canadian hockey? Really?

    • scotland says:

      Agreed. luongo getting to start cause he was there 4 years ago? Then put Iggy on with Sid again while you are at it.

      Alot can change in four years.

      It is not mentioned much….Bobby Lou almost lost the gold medal game for Canada in Vancouver. First goal was soft. The tieing goal for the USA off a scramble …..luongo was out to lunch during the scramble.

      But hey canada still won with booby lou, but certainly not because of him.

      Not like it would be a surprise to anybody if Care becomes Canadas number one over there…..he already is over here.

  42. bwoar says:

    If PK doesn’t play, it’s Babcock’s fault (and a mistake). Did I just read it would be Therrien’s fault?

    “thoroughbred”

  43. Hobie Hansen says:

    Excellent Point:

    habs-fan-84
    February 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    They assembled a team, and not just 25 of the highest scoring Canadian players.

  44. Habilis says:

    Babcock is playing it close to the vest. Can’t blame him since I’m sure every other country is watching those press conferences as well.

    To my eyes, whoever he starts in game 1 is “his guy”. That’s the goalie who he wants to run with. Considering that the first 3 games take place in 4 nights, it makes the most sense to start your main guy for game 1, your backup for game 2, then back to your main guy for Finland and the rest of the tourney.

    I really hope he makes the right choice. Price is just flat out better than Luongo right now. Don’t see how anyone could argue that. I get the experience factor, but when it comes to goalies, give me the hotter guy every day of the week.

    I would honestly say the same thing if Luongo were a Hab and Price a Canuck. Price is that much better right now.

    Price gives us the best chance to win. That’s just a fact.

    • TheDagger says:

      Go with the guy that lost five in a row coming into the break, or the guy that won 1st star of the week…?

      • Habilis says:

        Right? And yet everyone (in the media anyhow) is acting like it’s a tough call. I don’t even get the argument.

        It’s either go with the guy who’s only advantage is that he’s been there before, or go with the guy who’s on-ice play is superior in every way. Not much of a debate, IMHO.

        • Eddie says:

          The argument is that Luongo’s has the experience of winning an Olympic gold medal.

          Experience counts.

          Price is more talented and playing better. That is also true.

          So they need to see how calm Price will be under the pressure.

          • Habilis says:

            Yeah, I get that argument. And I might even support it if the two players were close, as regards their recent performance. But Price is among the top 3 or 4 goalies on the planet right now. Luongo is what, top 15, maybe?

            I just don’t think they’re on the same level.

            And with regards to being calm under pressure, something tells me that won’t be a problem for Carey.

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            Also, Luongo was not particularly good versus the US in the Gold Medal game in 2010, which we won despite him. And he got outplayed by TimTom in the Stanley Cup finals. So his big game experience is mostly one of failure.

            This isn’t Patrick Roy we’re talking about.

          • Ktowner says:

            Price is the calmest goaltender I have ever seen at any level. The guy is incredible.

          • scotland says:

            “experience counts”

            in 2010 how much experience did luongo have?

            yes experience counts. matter of fact its the only reason luongo is one of the three.

            i would not only play price ahead of luongo…..i would play smith ahead of him

        • habs-fan-84 says:

          The Canucks have been absolutely decimated on D for about a month (which obviously hasn’t help Lu’s record) now. Remember how bad our D looked a couple weeks ago when Price was letting in 4 goals per game?

          Please note, I believe Price will and should be the #1 guy. However, I also believe out of respect Luongo should get game 1 (as the first game is essentially meaningless anyway).

  45. HabsWin-nipeg says:

    So looking forward to seeing Crisp at the next level:

    LW Connor Crisp: 19 years old, 6’3″, 225 pounds, left-handed shot.

    Junior Club: Sudbury Wolves (28W-16L-3OTL-6SOL)

    Season total:GP-52/G-23/A-22/PTS-45/PIM-100

  46. habs-fan-84 says:

    Pacioretty playing with Kessler and Kane at practice today.

  47. scarboro_habitant says:

    looking forward to seeing kaberle light it up!

  48. PeterD says:

    This is a very big tournament in Subbans career.
    He has earned the chance to play on the world stage with the best players in the game right now.
    His performance at these games will go along way to establishing him as truely elite now or still developing into his game.
    I think hus contract negotiations will also be affected by his pkay and role at Sochi. If he shows he is responsible enough yo be top 6, then I think he’s looking at top $’s. If he plays irresponsibly and loosey goosey like he did at time the past couple of weeks, then he’ll not play top 6 and will likely be sctached in the important games thus negatively impacting his contract status and $’s.

    My hope is that the Norris Trophy Subban shows up and aplues every bit of his talent, maturity and strength to these games thus forcing the coaching staff to use him in top 4 mimutes thoughout the tournament.

    As a short do-or-die tournament there is no room for mistakes or any hint of irresponsible play.

    Go PK, Go Carey, Go Canada!

    • TMan1969 says:

      I think, they’ll play him and he will have to showcase himself…if he plays like PK he’ll be fine. I agree with you, the large ice surface give him more room to maneuver…fun to watch!!

      “If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching.”
      —Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game

    • Eddie says:

      Peter, you are over thinking this.

      Consider this,

      how many teams would gladly pay Subban top dollar, today, no matter what he does at the Olympcs.

      Answer: all 30 teams.

    • shlamiel says:

      He cannot hot dog it , his team will not tolerate any
      such actions.

    • scotland says:

      thats a lot to hope for. no way does he play ahead of weber, kieth, doughty, boumiester, petralangelo…….the sixth spot may be a possibility however that will likely go to the stay at home dman from the canucks (hansuis?) babcock likes those type of dmen ………and as therrien has pointed out to all of us subban can be a defensive liability at times and “cost us the game”

  49. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Why did Marleau or Nash make the team??

  50. Forum Dog says:

    What exactly is the mystery? Subban’s role is as the 4th RH shooting d-man on a national all-star team. Going in I don’t think anyone expected him to displace Doughty, Weber or Pietrangelo. The first two are returning gold medal winners, and Pietrangelo is the assistant coach’s defensive linchpin. Subban may play his way into the mix, but he was on the bubble as a roster selection, let alone a top-six favourite.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      I’m guessing if we have to dress 7 D-Men PK will be #7 and see duty on the PP and have to earn his way into more playing time.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

      • Forum Dog says:

        Maybe. It’ll be tough to be a 7th d-man and only see ice during a PP. I guess any olympic ice is better than none at all, but it would be hard for a player to sit for extended periods and then go out and perform at their best.

    • scotland says:

      he will barely play. maybe get a look in one the first two meaningless games. After that…….hes watching like the rest of us. Nothing wrong with that.

      what the subban campaigners dont say in any of their posts is who are the two dmen you would sit for him to play. and if ya want him top 4 who are the 4 dman you have him ahead of.

      cases can be made for all 8. and no matter who sits ….its a great player being sat.

      however i will say this. if subban does not play top six and you are wondering why…….just ask therrien.

  51. Phil C says:

    Surprised to see Bergeron on the 4th line. He seemed to have trouble with the pace at the last Olympics. He should be the 13th guy.

    • Strummer says:

      Most recently he had less trouble in the 2013 post-season.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

      • Phil C says:

        We’ll see. A lot of good NHLers suddenly can look ordinary in the Olympics.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Crosby was pretty ordinary in the last Olympics. He actually didn’t have a good tourney but did get the winning goal for the gold and that is all we remember

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Phil C says:

            Crosby had no problem with the pace though. The biggest change from the NHL to the Olympics is the speed. I thought Bergeron struggled with the pace last time, but that was 4 years ago as Strummer pointed out, so we will see.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Berg was slow in it last Olympics.

            Can’t wait to watch a game

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  52. jmsheehy19 says:

    Just saw that Marleau is on the 3rd instead of Duchene. That seems like a question mark to me, seeing that Duchene has played wing before just like Marleau.

  53. B says:

    Are Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo a better D pair than Keith and Seabrook?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  54. Sportfan says:

    Eww Shea Emry is not a Toronto Argonaut

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  55. DipsyDoodler says:

    Look, I hope PK plays but if he doesn’t it’s absolutely crazy, bordering on psychotic, to blame Babcock.

    If anyone is to blame it’s Therrien. OK?

    If PK doesn’t play it’s because Therrien did that thing. (Sorry I’m sketchy on the details but just catch one of our senior members during a lucid moment and he’ll lay it all out for you, Lyndon-Larouche style.)

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Should blame MB. JayBo was available last season and Pietrangelo is reaping the rewards.

      • Strummer says:

        You sure it’s not the other way around re: Jaybo and P-Angelo?

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

        • Luke says:

          This also raised my Spockian eyebrow.

          IMO, Jaybo has ranged from awful to mildly above average in his career prior to the Pietrangelo pairing.

          But I’m biased.

          I’d trade PK for Pietrangelo right now.

          • Donkey Hoat says:

            “I’d trade PK for Pietrangelo right now.”

            Really? I may be a donkey, but I doubt even Guy Smiley would make that kind of move.

          • Luke says:

            Oh yah. I (and thus, Guy Smiley) would. That doesn’t mean that PK sucks. I think he an Pietrangelo are comperable and I’d prefer to have AP as my #1 defenseman instead of PK.

            Despite the bland generic hockey personality that AP has. I definitelty prefer PK for the joie de vivre.

            There are only a few players in the league I’d move PK for 1-for-1 and AP is near the top of that list (Toews, Tavares, Crosby for sure). There maybe a few more. Weber or Keith? Perhaps. I’d certainly have that conversation.

    • mrhabby says:

      there are lots of great players on the team..they only get to play so many minutes. This should be treated as a learning experience for Subban and Price and for down the road.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Sorry Dipsy, but how in the world do you blame MT if PK does not play much in Sochi? He’s not there and I doubt the current Team Canada coach’s will be calling MT for advise.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  56. pete says:

    Well Canada doing good im pumped cant wait for mens hockey to start. The ladies are off to a good start what a game vs the fins. As for PK. he will be fine think you will see him with doughty.Also I think this will be good for P.K and Max Pac to help them develop

  57. Soolz says:

    I’m certainly not saying PK is the best defenceman in the group but I have a real hard time seeing bouwmeester and vlassic ahead of him. His numbers are better then doughty’s but he’s a lock? What does he bring to the table that PK doesn’t? I remember the talk when bouwmeester was the on Calgary and he was the biggest waste of money… Overrated etc… So he goes to arguably the best team in the league and has average numbers on the second highest scoring team in the nhl… Yep… He’s awesome alright

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      I get the idea of keeping pairings together and playing lefties on the left righties on the right, but it just seems crazy to not play Subban. He was built for the international ice.

      And while he is absolutely better than Vlasic and Bouwmeester, the thing I’d argue is that he’s better than pietrangelo.

      Nothing against him asI think he’s a phenomenal player, but the Blues are the team I watch the most behind Montreal and Chicago; I think he’s a better passer than Subban, and that’s it.

    • Phil C says:

      Experience. Doughty was a go-to guy at the last Olympics, Babcock knows he can trust him. PK will have to earn Babcock’s trust with the opportunities he gets.

  58. Bripro says:

    Don Cherry is on his way to Russia?
    Say Goodbye Don!
    The terrorists have been awaiting your arrival. :)

  59. Sportfan says:

    I can see PK not playing the first game, then playing the second game with a goal and a few assists solidifying his spot.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  60. frontenac1 says:

    Pk and the Lads will Rock the Joint in Russia.Book it!

  61. habs-fan-84 says:

    Wow, listening to the radio (TSN & The FAN) here in southern Ontario and you’d be honestly shocked that Canada won the gold 4 years ago.

    I don’t know how Canada could not be considered the favourites to win this tournament.

    Lastly, this “Canada is weak in net” argument rings absolutely hollow. I guess if reporters keep repeating it, enough people will buy it. Price is 5th in wins and 4th is SV% for goalies with 40 or more games (Bishop, Rask and Bernier are ahead). Of the 3 goalies ahead of him in SV% only 1 is in Sochi (Rask).

    Frankly, Price will be in the conversation for the Vezina this year…but, Canada is weak in net *rolls eyes

    • PrimeTime says:

      Reading between the lines, I’m guessing they are saying Canada would be stronger if we had Rask or Quick in goal…..both are playing so it makes us weaker than their teams in goal. Here’s hoping Canada proves them wrong.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        No, it’s the general tone of the discussion.
        If you knew nothing about hockey and were listening to the radio, you’d think Canada would be lucky to even medal this year – never mind the fact that Canada won the previous Olympic tournament and is by far the best team (on paper at least).

        With regards to the Quick, Price has much better stats going into the tournament. Right now, at this point in time I’d say Price is the better goalie. You’re right about Rask though.

        • mrhabby says:

          Quick won a cup and conn smythe trophy. Carey is playing lights out right now. If Prices play continues to trend upwards and into the spring I think he will get Vezina votes.

        • PrimeTime says:

          As much as I believe he can and will do it, Price hasn’t the resume of Quick yet. BTW, if Kessel and JVR were on Canada the conversation on Toronto sports radio would be different.

    • Cal says:

      Canada is the favourite, but the last two times on the big ice – Nagano and Turin- they didn’t medal.

      It will be interesting, but the first 2 games are really glorified practices. The tourney starts when Canada plays the Finns. Then, we’ll have an idea.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        No question Cal. However, I’d argue this team is better fit to compete on Olympic ice than the Nagano and Turin teams.

        • commandant says:

          People assume Salt Lake wasn NHL ice… it wasn’t. It was an olympic sized surface and they did just fine.

          Nagano, the team was undefeated until hitting a hot goalie in Hasek who stoned everyone that year.

          The only time they really sucked on big ice was Turin, and that was due to the make up of the team, a mistake they have not repeated imo.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • TheDagger says:

        They weren’t built for big ice in 2006, with guys like McCabe, Regehr, Foote, Bertuzzi, Smtyh, etc. This time around they have skaters, top to bottom. And the US team has to play on big ice too, which is just as foreign to them as the Canadians. And all the other teams with a legit shot have their best players playing in the NHL too. And although they might have past experience on big ice… they are used to NHL size and will require an adjustment as well. In a short tourney there isn’t a lot of time for adjustment. I feel the “big ice” thing is way overplayed.

      • commandant says:

        Salt Lake was played on big ice.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Cal says:

          My bad, but 2 out of 3 on the big ice, hot goalie or no, right?
          Canada is not a lock for a medal. Neither is Russia. And that’s a very good thing. It shows the growth of the sport.

      • canuckbot says:

        The Turin team was a joke. Big, slow players. A Burke-esque team if you will. Robyn Regehr???

  62. habs-fan-84 says:

    I really hope we’re not going to have these daily Subban reports. He is legitimately in the press box to start the tournament. However, he’ll probably get an opportunity at some point in the tournament.

    This should not be news to anyone.

  63. Propwash says:

    Fire Babcock!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  64. Rad says:

    I hope Subban gets a fair chance to show what he can do out on the Olympic ice. If he is already on the 4th D pairing, that shows a pre-disposition by the Canadian coaches that is unfavorable. Subban should have the opportunity to show his value to the Canadian team by TOI, not a pre-disposition. How can the Norris Trophy winner be the 7th or 8th best defenseman in Canada, let alone the world?

    • PrimeTime says:

      Who was the leading scorer in the NHL last year and having another great season this year? St Louis wasnt even originally picked for this team….does that make him a less talented player?? The Olympics are full of individual sports but Hockey is not one of them. If Subban can show he is a better fit than another D then he’ll play. Only in MTL will fans say playing Subban makes the team better. I got nothing against the kid but he is among some pretty good players and they all will need to earn ice time.

      • CJ says:

        Absolutely. PK said as much himself. He is going to need to earn the right to play in the top six. With all due respect, PK has not earned that right based on his recent play. PK, more than anyone, understands this.

        I think this experience will make PK a better player going forward. If anything, he could be faulted for trying to do too much. He tried to take the team on his back and create offence from the rush. This just didn’t work.

        For those golfers in the crowd, you might appreciate this analogy;

        The harder you swing at the ball, the less likely you are to create distance. In fact, when you swing harder and out of control, you often end up putting spin on the ball causing a big hook or slice. PK’s play has been out of balance. IMO he is trying too hard and overhandling the puck. When he slows it back down, much like the golf swing, he will realize that he can actually create more.

        This Olympic experience will only help PK.

      • D Mex says:

        Agreed. Mike Babcock has a good handle on the situation before him, as evidenced by his comments about the challenge of getting star players accustomed to very high (25+) minutes per game to adjust to seeing the ice quite a bit less (in the teens).

        For me, the mini-debate about PK underlines the tendency of many here to focus on individuals, whether management, coaches or players, rather than CH team outcomes. I witnessed the ‘ dynasty ‘ years and would say that, for the most part, dialogue then was overwhelmingly supportive and focused on team outcomes.

        This, of course, did nothing to displace the rather obvious commentary about individual stars, but fans then got behind the team whereas, today, it is increasingly about individual players. Sign of the times perhaps, but it really dilutes what being a fan of this exceptional franchise should really be all about IMO.

        Back to PK, he appears to grasp the team concept well enough, so maybe some of ‘ his ‘ fans should try to get behind the concept and do the same.

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

    • 44har48 says:

      The Norris Trophy winner after 48 games and the reigning Norris winner hurt. Subban had a great 48 games and is having another good year but lets be real here.

      • Luke says:

        Real is: He won the Norris Trophy.

        As much as I don’t agree with Rad’s statement, I disagree with you mitigating the win as well.

        IMO: Primetime is right.

        • Rad says:

          Which part of my statement exactly do you not agree with Luke? Was it where I stated that “I hope Subban gets a fair chance to show what he can do out on the Olympic ice”, or was it where I say “Subban should have the opportunity to show his value to the Canadian team by TOI, not a pre-disposition” — Please enlighten me as to where your disagreement lies.

          • Luke says:

            This part:
            “If he is already on the 4th D pairing, that shows a pre-disposition by the Canadian coaches that is unfavorable.”

          • Rad says:

            You are entitled to your opinion. And I will maintain my position, that Subban should be rated higher than the 7th or 8th best defenseman in Canada, going in. IMO he is Top 3 or 4 in the game. Clearly, others see it differently, including the Olympic management team. As I said, I hope he gets a fair chance to show what he can do out on Olympic ice. Let’s wait and see what happens in Sochi. I don’t think anybody will mind who gets how many minutes if the end result is a gold medal. If the end result is no medal at all, a lot of questions will be raised.

  65. Caesar says:

    Looking at that line up and thinking what a let down NHL Hockey is going to be from Feb 26th to the playoffs. Where guys like Bickell Clowe and Lucic are considered valuable.

    Not sure this tournament is good for the NHL, but I absolutely love the caliber. Bring back the Canada Cup and make it worth while for the players to represent their country.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      The same NHL that doesn’t want the players to spend 2 weeks at the Olympics every 4 years locks them out for 40-80 games every 10 years.

    • mrhabby says:

      The tournament is great for the NHL. The exposure the NHL gets is unreal across the globe. Putting it together is the hard part but the benefit surely outweighs the negatives.

  66. Bripro says:

    This is what sportsmanship is all about.
    Remember when Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen helped Canadian Sara Renner in Torino after she had broken her ski pole? He gave her a new one. And as the link below mentions, Norway lost out on a medal as a result of that unselfish act.
    Well today, Canada’s proud paid it forward.
    Russia’s Anton Gafarov crashed and broke his ski today and the Canadian cross-country coach ran down the slope and not only loaned him another ski, but quickly took the broken one off and put his loaner on Mr. Gararov so that he could quickly be on his way.

    Canadians…… we rock!

    http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/canadian-coach-justin-wadsworth-helps-out-russian-skier.html

    • Chuck says:

      An awesome moment that played well in front of the host crowd, too.

    • PrimeTime says:

      Sports is not about hating your opponent, it’s about respecting them to be the best they can be and battling to win. It brings out the best in athletes which is why they do it. Coaches get it which is why they do it. Some fans just dont and only wish ill will on their opponent.

    • Rugger says:

      Cool, great coach. When I raced XC in High School, I broke so many skis my Junior year my coach made me go around our 1 mile practice loop on jumping skis, which in those days were very heavy! I haven’t broken a ski now since 1973.

  67. Strummer says:

    Heard a comment on Hockey Central at Noon-
    Team Canada always has trouble scoring when they start out at the Olympics. When it happens this time, PK Subban will be inserted in the lineup to fix it.

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  68. 44har48 says:

    Well once again, on paper, that’s a great team Canada is bringing to the tournament. Fortunately for the US, this game is played on ice, not paper. And as long as you have PK on your blue line, we will have an opportunity to get a real juicy give away that could swing the game for us late.

    I like PK as a Hab, I am a big Habs fan for decades, but for the next two weeks my home country has my allegiance and I am hoping PK shows why I say he is not worth $8M/yr, yet. You turn it over on this sheet in this tourny, and you can lose medals.

    • Cal says:

      I’m going to love watching PK make you eat those words.
      Happy Olympics!

    • arcosenate says:

      Everyone gives the puck away, but PK might not even get a chance to, judging by the first couple of practices. I think you are still smarting a bit from your Vancouver result.

      But I would put Canada’s D up against the U.S. D any day…

    • CJ says:

      Nothing like the Olympics to nudge our Patriotic divide.

      Keep in mind, even newly minted $8 million dollar a year players, like your countryman Phil Kessel, are not immune to making mistakes. PK has made his share these past few weeks, but I have every confidence that he will draw on previous international experience and grow his profile during this tournament.

      PK is not the gambler that Erik Karralson is, however there is no denying there is a risk reward element to his game. I think he will find that he does not need to take additional risk, when surrounded by the game’s most elite players. I can’t imagine him circling the ice twice, as Crosby is waiting at the red line. Just having the opportunity to practice with these elite players will help PK grow as a hockey player.

      • 44har48 says:

        Good point on his role being much different than it is in Montreal, based on talent level, and that will benefit him.

        …and it is going to kill me to see Price in Canada’s net! I’m a big Price fan and I think he is one of the best goalies in the world.

  69. Cal says:

    It appears that, as a nation, the Germans are great at letting it slide. ;)


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