P.K. Subban: 'I've always had a target on my back'
P.K. Subban's used to this.
A lightning rod for criticism, Subban took the heat from his head coach Michel Therrien on Wednesday, after a late turnover cost the Montreal Canadiens at least a point in the standings as they fell 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche.
"An individual mistake cost us the game," Therrien said.
Subban, as expected, took his leader's comments in stride.
"I've always had a huge target on my back," he said, according to La Presse's Marc Antoine Godin. "I expect it to be a huge story about the play that happened on the ice (Wednesday). I expect all that stuff. When you're the highest paid guy on the team, you make a lot of money and you speak your mind; people are going to have an opinion on you and that's fine.
"I just want to compete and be the best player I can be every night. I also understand that not every night is going to be your night. Sometimes the bounces aren't going to go your way."
It hasn't been the Canadiens' night in a long time; the bounces haven't been going their way for months.
Subban also spoke about his personality, and how it's perceived as different.
"It's funny," he said, "when people talk about the differences between players and teammates, everybody says my personality is so different from everybody else. You look around the league, every team is in the same situation. You look at Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, they're not the same type of people. They find ways to get along. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, it's the same thing. So why is it different for me? For me, I'm willing ot do whatever I have to do for the betterment of the team."
Subban was benched after his turnover, spending the final two minutes of the game on the bench with his team down a goal. As Montreal's season spirals away, Wednesday's happenings may be looked back upon if and when the Canadiens miss the playoffs, or if and when Therrien is relieved of his duties.
Subban leads the Canadiens in scoring, with 44 points in 58 games. He also leads the club in ice time, at 25:59 a game. When you're out there that often, things can sometimes go wrong. It could be argued the defender's trying to do too much on the ice, but with Montreal reeling, options are slim.
Points wise, Subban has been more than solid since the calendar turned to 2016. He has four goals and 14 assists in 19 games in the new year.