I wrote on Twitter (X.com) yesterday, “Masterclass of trolling by P.K. here: capitalize on a trendy topic, spin a bad take, double down, and offer up another odd take to get fans riled up. Goes against the grain and discredits an incredible run of wins… He knows exactly what he’s doing.” The comments were in response to another video P.K. Subban posted about the Edmonton Oilers and their current win streak, seemingly disrespecting the accomplishment.
To me, it’s clear Subban is either a) trying to rile up Oilers fans or b) trying to double down and backtrack out of a hole he’s dug for himself with Oilers Nation. The reality is, he’s probably doing a bit of both.
Last week, the former NHL defenseman was a guest on the Pat McAfee Show and ignorantly claimed that the current streak the Oilers were on was almost solely due to the incredible play of Connor McDavid. While McDavid has been fantastic as always, Subban essentially shunned the rest of the team and the overall improvement in their defensive play as reasons for a number of consecutive wins. He said, the Oilers were, “Too easy to play against in their own zone,.”
Subban Took Aim at the Oilers and The Fans… Again
Later this week, he went back at Oiler fans who were quick to comment on his largely-criticized take. Many said he should start watching the games before he commented. Saying half of the fans want to throw a parade and other half want to burn his house down for comments he made, Subban then went on to say his opinion of the Oilers hasn’t changed. He still thinks this is a team that hasn’t yet proven they’ll show up when the pressure is really on. He added that of their 13 wins, half were against teams they “should have beaten.”
“The last 10 games out of your 13 wins were against Calgary, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Chicago, Ottawa, Philly, Anaheim and L.A. Toronto, Philly and L.A., good teams. But you should be beating all those teams. I don’t see anything in there that warrants a parade. And when you look at the next three games, you got Columbus, Chicago, and Nashville. Those are three games you should win… This is not a team that is doing anything spectacular. They’re doing what they should be doing.”
Subban conveniently left out that the NHL is a league where half the teams are playoff teams and that many of the clubs the Oilers beat are still in the playoff conversation. He also left out that the Oilers beat some teams in the Eastern Conference that few likely expected Edmonton to win.
He said that 17 goals of the 52 goals the Oilers had scored were by the depth players and the rest by the usual suspects. Ironically, that’s how it works. On any team, the best players tend to score more than the depth players. To suggest that 68 percent of goals are coming from the best players on the team should not be some sort of hot take.
Subban Contradicts Himself on the Defense
Not moving off of the Oilers’ defensive woes argument, Subban seemingly tried to camouflage his statement by giving props to new assistant coach Paul Coffey. Noting that any time you put a player with that pedigree behind the bench, the players will respond. He sarcastically says, “Congratulations, that happened.”
But, in one manner of speaking, he’s saying the defense has stepped up. In another, he’s trying to say it’s still not good enough. There was no mention of the fact that Edmonton is tied with Winnipeg for the lowest goals against average in the NHL during this stretch of wins.
He said, “The Edmonton Oilers aren’t doing anything spectacular, they’re doing what they should be doing.” It’s an incredibly asinine statement to discounts the fact the Oilers set a franchise record for consecutive wins. And, that Stuart Skinner just broke Grant Fuhr‘s record for consecutive goalie wins. All of those things, while they ultimately might not equal a Stanley Cup parade are spectacular.
Subban knows this. He’s just too deep into his position to back out now. He’s decided this is the hill he’s doing to die on an he knows, in the process, he’s getting a ton of attention that he might not otherwise get. As they say, no press is bad press.
He’s entitled to have an opinion. That said, he’s also entitled to be wrong.
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