“I thought I had a good mindset coming into it,” Subban said of his first two games, earning an assist in each.
“My whole thing was just to come in and help the team in any way that I could. I had no expectations in terms of myself or how I’d be used. I just wanted to come in with whatever I had and make the best of it, then continue to build as the season goes on.
“I thought I was relaxed, calm, did my job and our team just kept rolling. It was a great weekend because the team did so well. We’re 6-2 and feeling pretty good.”
Not a bad weekend’s work for a player who, in the eyes of Hockey Night in Canada panellist P.J. Stock, is a very square peg in a dressing room full of round holes.
Stock’s opinion, delivered on a national stage, was pure gibberish that mistakenly could shape the belief of many viewers that there’s a gulf the width of the St. Lawrence River dividing Subban and his teammates.
Without context, last Tuesday’s comments by defencemen Andrei Markov and Gorges suggested an apathy toward and perhaps an impatience with Subban. Which, after his protracted holdout, wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable.
But here’s the situation with context, an understanding of the subtleties and a sense of the principals:
Both Markov and Gorges were asked on Tuesday, the morning of a game, about the next day’s return of Subban. At that moment, both were far more focused on the players in the lineup for that night’s contest against Winnipeg than one who was not, Subban’s contract stalemate having loomed over the club for months.
“He’s not in the room yet, so let’s talk about it when he’s going to be in the room,” Markov said.
From Gorges, a no-nonsense leader to whom no individual is bigger than his team: “It’s good that it’s over and done with and it’s settled,” he said of Subban’s signing. “We don’t have to have these talks in the morning of what-if-this and what-if-that. We can focus on playing hockey.”
No question, leaders Markov and Gorges could have said, “It’s nice to have Subban back but let’s talk about him tomorrow.”
That they didn’t perhaps sent a message.
But Stock spun this sensationally and irresponsibly.
The rest... just like Maryanne