P.K. Subban talks 'unfortunate' Brad Marchand suspension, 'respect' for Tom Brady ahead of Winter Classic

Scott McLaughlin
December 31, 2015 - 11:33 am
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[caption id="attachment_50493" align="alignright" width="150"] P.K. Subban[/caption] The Bruins-Canadiens rivalry may get ratcheted up a notch in Friday's Winter Classic given the Gillette Stadium setting and national exposure. But it will also be missing one key part of its recent history, as Brad Marchand will miss the game after getting suspended for a low hit on Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. No one is more familiar with what Marchand brings to the rivalry than Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, who has had more than a couple run-ins with the pesky Bruins forward during his career. The two have exchanged hits, punches, slashes, words and more over the years, not to mention plenty of great one-on-one play given the skill level of each player and the fact that they're usually on the same side of the ice. The next chapter in the Marchand-Subban rivalry will have to wait, though. On Thursday, Subban was asked if he's going to miss Marchand. "Well, I know Brad'€™s a big part of their team, so I'€™m sure they'€™re going to miss him," Subban said. "As far as I'€™m concerned, I know there is a rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. I don'€™t ever think of playing a specific player. But obviously with the history of us playing against each other, going back to World Juniors playing with each other and against each other in the playoffs and during the regular season, yeah, there'€™s been some heated battles. "But that'€™s just a part of the game. There are many players I can probably think of in the league that I'€™ve had heated battles against. But it'€™s unfortunate he'€™s not playing tomorrow." Subban and the Canadiens enter Friday's game having lost 11 of their last 13. Subban said he's hopeful that the big stage and added excitement Friday can help his team pull out of that skid. "I think for us right now it'€™s about building confidence from one shift to the next shift," Subban said. "So we have an opportunity to do that again tomorrow, and I think that this is perfect for us. A stage like this where everybody can get up for and it'€™s refreshed, right? Your family and friends there and everybody watching. So you want to be at your best. I think when we'€™re at our best, there are not too many teams in the league that can compete with us." Subban's excitement did take a bit of a hit Thursday, though. He was hoping to meet Tom Brady, but things didn't work out. "Tom, just so much respect for him as an athlete," Subban said. "I was hoping to bump into him today in the hallway. I was probably going to jump on him or something like that. ... A player like Tom Brady is special. It would have been nice to meet him today. But we'€™ll have to save that for another day."