Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PK vs. the Coach

                                                                             
     There's been a shift in the public perception of the relationship between Canadiens coach Michel Therrien and star defenceman PK Subban - not a seismic shift, but enough movement that it's noteworthy. 
     The benching of Subban for all but 37 seconds of the first period in Ottawa two games ago was greeted by the usual knee jerk incredulity on Twitter, with fans and media alike clamoring for Therrien's head on a stick.  But after Subban delivered another lacklustre effort Saturday against Detroit, sober second thought took root, and people not blinded by the residual gleam of last year's Norris Trophy started giving current events priority over marginally recent history.  Subban hasn't been the same player this season, and at some point, he has to be held accountable. If Therrien is coming down harder on Subban than he is on other players, it's because more is expected of Subban.  Blaming coaching or defence partners doesn't wash with a player who has the natural gifts to adapt and excel even in the most extraordinary circumstances, and there's nothing extraordinary about what Therrien is asking of any of his players. 
     Subban's talent is beyond dispute.  What's being tested now is his professionalism, and how he responds to what the coach demands of him in the playoffs will speak volumes about his character development.

7 comments:

  1. his professionalism is suspect based on his acting. The diving is a big part of his game so why be surprised.

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  2. I don't follow the Canadiens as closely as a local would (obviously), but I remember Therrien being very hard on a young Brooks Orpik. Orpik would up as an Olympic-caliber defenseman, so Therrien has some credibility in this regard.

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  3. Sir, I think you are way off the mark on Subban. I, and lots of others think that the constant public humiliation of P.K., by Therrien has made it so as P.K. is constantly thinking about not making a mistake and being subjected to the humiliation, that he isn't playing the game the way we all know he can. Short of shooting the puck in your own net,no one can f@#% up enough in 37 seconds to warrant being benched for a whole period, especially a talent who has won a Norris trophy. Doughty, Weber, Karrlson, Letang, Mcdonaugh, they all make mistakes, but are not humiliated by their coach. Young players make mistakes. All players make mistakes. If Therrien disciplined equally and supported P.K., instead of publicly humiliating him, we would see much better play from a more confident P.K. If P.K. is smart he tells his agent to do what it takes to get him out of there.Roy found a way out, P.K. can too. In his last job as an analyst Therrien blasted P.K. every chance he got. Evidently P.K. hasn't learned to play the "white" way....

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  4. We have to hope you are right. I just don't like the public humiliation. There are better and more professional ways to hold PK accountable to a higher standard.

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  5. What's MB gonna do when or if P.K. goes to to the GM and ssays I can't play for Therrien any more.Anon @ 3:15, you're right. No player can play their game if they're afraid to make a mistake. DD didn't get benched at the beginng of the season. They went out of their way to get him going. Broke up the
    Egg line that was their best line at the time. After seeing MT on 24 CH, makes me wonder

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  6. I think Therrien's treatment of PK can only be justified if other players got the same treatment when they made mistakes. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Bouillon and Murray, for example, seem to be able to get away with terrible plays without repercussions. Also, lets not forget that PK often got the same treatment last year....a year in which he won the Norris trophy! That just makes no sense to me that the league-wide experts pick him as the best defenseman of 2012-13 and yet he got that kind of treatment from his own coach in the same season. Has any other Norris trophy winning defenseman been treated nearly as bad in the same year he won the norris trophy?

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  7. Hi Ted, if we are talking about how a player progresses and the impact the coaching staff has on up and coming players then should we say that the current coaching staff is failing, yes PK is not playing well. But what bothers me is you can actually see that PK cannot be PL and looks lost, does not or is not allowed to carry the puck in, he keeps turning at the blue line and I absolutely hate the dump and chase strategy on power plays. Not leveraging this talent and guiding it appropriately bears responsibility on both sides. What is the alternative get rid of the guy - when was the last time we had a Norris winner.

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