OTTAWA – The only thing P.K. Subban is focusing on is how he can help the Canadiens leave Ottawa with a fifth-straight win.
With just one optional morning skate under his belt after signing a two-year deal on Monday, Subban won’t be making his return to the Canadiens lineup against the Senators on Wednesday night. That won’t stop him from doing everything he can to help his team come away with a win – even if that means delaying the bonding process with the boys by a few more hours.
“I’ve only seen a couple of my teammates so far,” admitted the 23-year-old defenseman, who joined Yannick Weber, Mike Blunden and Peter Budaj on the ice at Scotiabank Place. “I purposely didn’t want to get too involved with them in the back-to-back game situation. We spoke earlier this morning at breakfast, but I haven’t seen all the guys. I’m going to wait until after the game when we have two days off so we’ll have plenty of time together.”
He may not have had time to learn the ins and outs of his new coach’s system yet, but clearly Subban has had no problem picking up Michel Therrien’s team-first philosophy.
“When you come back in the dressing room, it’s a team concept,” confirmed Subban, who met with Therrien and Habs GM Marc Bergevin early Wednesday morning. “It’s about everybody in the room; it’s not about one individual. It’s about everybody coming together as a team.
“I think we’ve done a great job so far. Look at this team compared to last year and it’s completely different. It’s an actual team out there and that’s important,” he added. “I’m just trying to come in and be a part of things and help and contribute any way I can.”
On Wednesday morning, that meant joining Blunden and Weber in getting Budaj warmed up and prepared to make his first start of the campaign. With a lot of X’s and O’s to learn and his team riding a four-game win streak, Subban isn’t sure when he’ll get his chance to crack the starting lineup, but for now he’s just excited to watch Wednesday’s game from a seat in the press box instead of his couch back home in Toronto.
“I missed everything. I missed my teammates, I missed the game, I missed the jersey, I missed the fans; I missed everything. This is what I’ve grown up doing my whole life and I look forward to getting back in the mix,” stressed Subban. “I’m just happy to be back. The quicker we can put this stuff behind us, the better it’s going to be for our hockey club. It’s not about me; it’s about the team.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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