P.K. Subban will be a healthy scratch for Canada when they take on Noway in their first contest of the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament. The defending Gold medal winner is ridiculously deep at all positions, so it isn’t all that surprising to see head coach Mike Babcock forced to bench a supremely talented player like Subban.
— Antti Mäkinen (@sirmakinen) February 13, 2014
After watching Erik Karlsson dominate through stretches of play for Sweden, Canada is probably itching to let Subban off the chain a bit on the larger ice surface. While the current Montreal Canadien won’t suit up against Norway, it’s important to note that he will be in the lineup against Austria on Friday.
While Canada will be playing heavy favorite in its first two contests, it will be interesting to see what Babcock’s medal-rounds roster looks like. Will the fleet-footed Subban have a place among the top-six defensemen? Or will the head coach go with more well-rounded players?
Through the first few games of the tournament, teams seemed to be utilizing short, chippy passes to progress up the ice. The “stretch pass” that we see utilized so often in the NHL hasn’t been in play much, but that could change once the Canadians take the ice.
Their talent and depth on the blue line is staggering, and this will be a tough group for any opposing team to beat regardless of whether or not Subban is in the lineup.