Great article on Subban in the Hamilton Spectator
Subban's back, ready to go
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
(May 26, 2010)
He has just spent the last month on hockey's biggest stage, the Stanley Cup playoffs, battling some of the games biggest stars but P.K. Subban is ecstatic about getting back with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
"Obviously, I was happy that Montreal wanted me to go back, but either way I was going back, whether they wanted me to or not," said Subban, a defenceman, who got his wish yesterday when he and forward Ben Maxwell were reassigned to the Bulldogs the day after the Montreal Canadiens were eliminated from the playoffs.
Both players are expected to be in the lineup at Copps Coliseum tonight when the Bulldogs host the Texas Stars in the seventh and deciding game of their American Hockey League Western Conference final.
The Dogs are hoping Subban's return can help on two fronts. At the time of his call-up on April 26, he was the club's leading scorer in the playoffs and head coach Guy Boucher thinks he can provide some timely offence from the back end.
And the front office are hoping the media attention Subban received on national TV during the Habs playoff run might help lagging ticket sales.
"I played 77 games in Hamilton this year and that's the team I played with most of the season," Subban added. "Even when I was called up, I had a bit of mixed emotions. I didn't want to leave the guys. I liked playing there. I liked the guys and I liked the coaching staff."
Now don't get Subban wrong, he enjoyed every second of his time up with Montreal in the playoffs and he called it a thrill of a lifetime to line up facing players like Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby with his parents and brothers in the Bell Centre crowd in Montreal watching him perform.
"You dream about moments like that and for it to happen to me was great," said Subban, who admitted he learned a lot. "The games are so intense in the playoffs and there's very little room for error and I didn't have any NHL experience, really, and was just thrown into the fire. You learn to stick to the things that you're really good at. You have to continue to do the things that got you there."
Subban, who turned 20 earlier in May, said the Habs and Bulldogs play a slightly different game on defence and he admitted because of that he got caught out of position a couple of times. But, he adds, his defensive partner Roman Hamrlik and other D-men helped him with advice when he made a mistake.
"The vets on the team were unbelievable, especially my partner, Hamrlik and (Josh) Gorges and Hal Gill, who's a huge leader on the team. They were really good on giving me feedback on things I need to do better and on things that I was doing well."
Although he could be excused for being a little preoccupied with the Stanley Cup playoffs, Subban said he's had time to follow how the Bulldogs have been doing without him. And he's fully aware the team's season is on the line tonight.
"I didn't play all the games I did this year to show up for the seventh game of the semi-finals and not put forth my best effort. No matter how many games I played this year, I'm ready for it," he says.
Boucher believes there's no question Subban will show up for the game in the right frame of mind.
"He's going to be just as anxious to help his buddies here as he was with the Canadiens, because he's that type of guy," Boucher remarked.