‘Best Years’ are Still Ahead for P.K. Subban
Two months into the season, the Subban for Weber trade appears to have benefited both teams
P.K. Subban is undoubtedly tired of talking about the June 30th trade that brought him to Nashville and sent Shea Weber to Montreal.
Subban made an immediate impact with his new team - scoring the first goal of the Predators season in a 3-2 opening night victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Following that game, Subban was relatively quiet until the middle of November when he went on a four game point streak, including two goals and four assists.
Meanwhile, Weber was racking up the points for his new club in Montreal – collecting 10 in his first nine games. He also led the league in plus/minus through the first month of the season (+12), leading media gurus high and low to begin questioning if Nashville really benefited much from the trade.
However, since November Subban has caught fire, tying Weber in assists (10) and trailing him in goals by just one. He has been especially good at home with six of his seven goals coming at Bridgestone Arena.
“For whatever reason I’m just getting the opportunities to create offense here,” Subban said after Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. “The puck is going in for me. So I don’t know, maybe the second half will be different and maybe I’ll get those bounces on the road, but for me right now I just take what I get.”
Subban and Weber will more than likely be compared for the rest of their careers. However, now that he is coming into his own and establishing chemistry with his new teammates, Subban can just focus on being himself and not being Shea Weber.
“I’ve turned the page you know,” Subban said Wednesday in an interview with 3HL. “In terms of Montreal, I had a great career there. I had some great, strong years there and I felt I played well every year that I was there. I don’t think I ever regret anything or that I held back at all.
“I did the best that I could while I was there and you know now that I’m in Nashville I’m just trying to do the same. I firmly believe that the best years are still ahead of me in my career and I think that the better this team does, the better that I’m going to do.”
There is no denying that there was a learning curve at first for Subban in Nashville. He is playing in a different system, with better defensemen, and there has been somewhat of an adjustment period.
“I think we were all getting acclimated a little bit in October,” coach Peter Laviolette said after Tuesday’s win over the Avalanche. “November provided to be a much better month and hopefully it just continues though December here. I do think there’s a feeling-out process when we get a new team; the guys that are here, even the guys that are playing with new players and understanding the system- but I think he’s (Subban) been terrific.”
Now that Subban and his teammates have adapted to each other, the rest of the league should be on the look out. He has already surpassed his goal total from last season in 43 less games and his confidence is growing by the day.
“I feel very, very confident with the players that I play with every night,” Subban told the 3HL. “These guys are all capable of creating and doing special things on any given night and I’m just happy to be a part of that. I think for our team the true test for any team is adversity. We faced a lot of that early in the season. It says a lot about our hockey club.
“I don’t remember once since the start of the season where things maybe turned negative for us in the dressing room or on the bench, guys are really really positive and respect each other. Individually guys are going to excel, and I’m not the only one on the team excelling right now, but I just hope that continues and just try to do my job every night, that’s it.”