In all seriousness, former head coach Jacques Martin was featured on everyone’s favorite hockey panel last night, L’Antichambre. The comments made by Martin were circulating blogosphere and Twittersphere this morning, particularly his comments on P.K Subban.
Citing his appreciation for Subban‘s skills, Martin points out that what’s frustrating is his [and i quote from the translated article on RDS.ca ] “lack of comprehension about how to play a game”. Martin admits that Subban probably got on the nerves of his teammates more than the coach, and that there are questions about whether Subban is a team player. But, Martin also says that Subban brings a lot of excitement and passion to the game, and needs to develop and mature.
Now before we go out and trade Subban, we need to remember that he’s 21. Yes, his antics [the turtle on Ference last week for one] gets on everyone’s nerves, but please explain to me why he’s being treated and played like the #1 defensemen. He has insane talent, and you can read this editorial by former NHLer Bobby Holik on Subban‘s great potential to be an excellent defensemen now and into the future. But why does it take someone outside the organization to defend the kid? The operative thing to remember is that he’s 21, and being handed the reins to a defense without having the benefit of another offensive-D to lean on.
There are no excuses for his turtling and penchant for embellishing, but it’s a part of being young in this league. Does anyone remember Crosby in his first few years? Lots of words written about his ‘whining’ to the refs.
Let Subban grow. Let him make mistakes. Let him play his game. In a few years, he will be great. If we trade him now, we will make a huge mistake. We had the same criticism of Carey Price as immature at age 22. They are young, and being thrown into situations where they are the integral cog of an NHL team in their second season.
If anything, the questions about be about the big earners on this time under-performing, not the young guns.
Other highlights of the interview was his defence of Cammalleri on the PK because of his threat to score a short-handed goal [OHHH so that's why he wasn't scoring at even-strength!or ever!]. On Gomez, he admitted that he gave him the benefit of the doubt because of his playoff performances in 2010, but hints that he was losing his leadership status in the room based on the perception of diminishing effort. Finally, his words on Markov are incredibly accurate and incredibly scary. I honestly am beginning to think that Markov will never lace up again, and Martin’s doubt on Markov‘s health is not comforting.
As we get ready to face the Capitals tonight, the Habs would be best to put the off-ice drama behind them and win. We’re 8 points out of 8th, but only 2 out of last. We’ll see if they can put a good stretch together here.