Early into the 2021-22 season, New Jersey Devils defenceman P.K. Subban has been involved in a number of questionable plays, the majority of which have been slew foots.
The first incident of the season came in a game versus the New York Rangers, where Subban got tangled up with Ryan Reaves. At the time, the general consensus was that this was an incidental play, however there were some vocal fans who said this was nothing new for the Devils defenceman. It appears they are right, as this same type of play involving Subban has happened numerous times since, with one of them earning him a $15,000 fine from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
On Sunday night, Subban had yet another incident that some believe was a slew foot, this one coming at the expense of yet another Blues forward in Sammy Blais. It is very tough to tell whether or not the specific play was intentional, though it is getting harder and harder to give Subban the benefit of the doubt at this point.
To make matters worse, Blais wasn’t able to return with what the team is calling a lower-body injury.
This whole thing with Subban is quite bizarre, given that prior to this season he had not been viewed by the majority of fans as a dirty, or even remotely dirty player. Perhaps people are just starting to pay more attention to him with these kind of acts now, or perhaps he has just had a bad luck of judgement early into the season. Whatever it is, Rangers coach Gerard Gallant is clearly not a fan of what’s been transpiring, as he said post-game that the play on Blais “Looked a lot like the Reaves one that I saw.”
It is worth noting that Gallant defended Subban after his first slew foot this season on Reaves, saying he believed it was completely unintentional and deserved to be a two minute penalty at most. Now however, after a series more, both he and many fans around the league have changed their tune. Subban will have to be much more careful going forward, as the league is certainly aware of this and will be watching him much more closely.
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