Subban hadn’t taken part in the morning skate with teammates and the official word was that he was questionable for Monday’s tilt against the Blue Jackets with the flu. News didn’t come until hours before the opening faceoff that Subban would be healthy enough to suit up in Columbus, and if Monday’s game was any indication of how Subban can play with the flu, it’s no wonder he’s a Norris Trophy candidate when he’s healthy.
The highlight of Subban’s game came midway through the second period with Montreal down 2-1. After a Canadiens zone entry was broken up, the puck skittered to center ice where it was collected by Andrei Markov and moved to Subban, who wound up and hammered a shot right at Korpisalo. It’s too bad the shot wasn’t clocked because Subban’s slapshot might have been a record-setting blast:
Usually when goaltenders are beaten from that distance, we’re talking about deflected pucks, funny bounces or a well-placed skip on the dump in — a Nicklas Lidstrom special, if you will. But Subban’s shot went clean in. No bounce, no skip, no deflection. The puck may have curved a bit on its way in as pucks tend to do, but that’s about it.
The thing is it’s hard to say if Korpisalo really should have had a better than 50-50 chance of stopping Subban’s shot. Not even a second passes from the time Subban contacts the puck to the time its shooting back out of the net after beating Korpisalo. That’s a serious blast. Scoring the goal from center may have pumped Subban up a little too much, though, as he shoved Brandon Dubinsky on his way back to the bench and Subban earned himself a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct during his post-goal celebration.
Subban now has four goals and 35 points on the season, and it seems after struggling to find his scoring touch all season, he’s finally got a hot stick. In his past seven games, Subban has three goals and seven points and has points in 10 of his past 12 games.