With P.K. Subban, must take good with bad

P.K. Subban won the Norris Trophy, awarded to the best defenseman in 2013. Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

It was my TSN colleague and former NHL winger Mike Johnson who summed it up best on Thursday when discussing P.K. Subban, saying he’s one of the most polarizing players in the NHL.

The latest debate about Subban surfaced after his late-game penalty Wednesday night in Calgary cost the Montreal Canadiens a realistic chance to try and tie the game.

And yet, in that same game, Subban was electric, easily the best player on the ice for either team, his end-to-end rushes and rocket of a goal a reminder of how dynamic he is as a player.

But in a nutshell, that evening’s game was what you get sometimes with Subban: sensational play with a sprinkle of a bad penalty or two.

If Subban can learn to control his emotions, there’s no telling how good this guy can be. His name will find its way on the Norris Trophy more than once if he can channel that passion.

And to me, it’s a no-brainer: Subban has to be on the Canadian Olympic team going to Sochi. You have to be able to live with the odd penalty or defensive mistake when you’re weighing the kind of impact Subban would bring offensively on the big ice.

Subban felt bad for his late-game penalty in Calgary. He responded the best way he could, with a three-assist performance Thursday night in Edmonton in a 4-1 victory. That’s the Subban the Habs want to see every night.