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McKenzie: Subban steps up with terrific game against the US

Bob McKenzie
12/30/2012 8:54:36 PM
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A lot of people were judging Malcolm Subban on what he did in the selection camp, he wasn't very good that week, and on what he did in the pre-tournament games, when he was just okay.

And then in Canada's first two games of the tournament he gives up six goals combined against Germany and Slovakia. People were asking questions; they were all answered on Sunday.

Subban was brilliant against the US. He showed the kind of temperament and talent goalie coach Ron Tugnett and head coach Steve Spott knew he possesses. That's why the Boston Bruins took him in the first round, and why he was anointed the number one goaltender even though he wasn't coming off the best two week period of his life.

Sunday was a spectacular performance by Subban at one end and John Gibson – a Kitchener Ranger goaltender drafted by the Anaheim Ducks – at the other end; a great goaltending battle.

Penalty Kill Prowess

The Americans scored one goal on the power play but on the day, a tremendous job in front of Subban killing penalties.

Terrific jobs by Dougie Hamilton, Scott Harrington, Phillip Danault, you name it. They stepped up, they boxed guys out well, and they took pucks away from the Americans.

Subban, of course, was terrific, especially in that four-minute stretch in the second period when Griffin Reinhart went off with a double minor for high-sticking. But the guys in front of him, particularly the guys on the blue line were absolutely terrific.

Power Play Troubles

The lack of success on the 5-on-3 power play in the third period almost came back to bite them. The Americans got a little silly with their penalties, but Canada generated not much of anything outside of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hitting the crossbar once.

And then Nugent-Hopkins comes up with an uncharacteristically bad penalty that put Canada on the penalty kill to finish the game. That one could have come back to bite Canada in a big way, but the penalty kill again was good. It's something for the coaches to work on moving forward, making sure Canada doesn't take those late penalties.

Bob McKenzie

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