Subban topped NHL defensemen in scoring with six points (four goals, two assists), highlighted by a milestone performance at Minnesota, as the Canadiens (40-26-7) won twice in four starts and moved within one point of the first-place Boston Bruins in the Northeast Division. Subban recorded one assist in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals Mar. 15, recorded one goal in a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers Mar. 18 and finished the week with his first NHL hat trick plus an assist and a +3 rating in an 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild Mar. 20. Subban, 21, became the first rookie defenseman in Canadiens history to tally three goals in a game. He also is the first Montreal defenseman overall to tally a hat trick since Sheldon Souray in December 2003 and the first Montreal rookie overall since Oleg Petrov in December 1993.
After posting just 2 goals and 9 assists in 35 games up to January 1st, Subban has since delivered with 9 goals and 15 assists in his next 34 games. Similar to last year in the AHL, Subban took some time to dominate the game offensively. This year Jacques Martin brilliantly focused on Subban's defensive game, and his offensive game followed naturally.
When Subban made the team we were told to expect a dynamic offensive talent with little defensive upside and poor risk management. In less than one season it could be said that Subban may be even better defensively than he is offensively. A huge amount of credit for this must be given to the coaching staff as well as Hal Gill. Not to mention the incredibly adaptability of young Pernell Karl Subban.
It's going to be a bright future for the young stud defenseman.