When P.K. Subban was traded from Montreal to Nashville last year, he felt many emotions. But one of those emotions, without question, was excitement.
“The day I was traded, I said, ‘I look at this team and I’m just so excited about the opportunity I feel I have to win a Stanley Cup here’ – and I meant that,” Subban said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I look at the team from top the bottom . . . there was no doubt in my mind that based on the personnel that we had in that locker room and our team – young guys that have come into this system and done well – that we would have an opportunity to do that. Don’t call me a magician or anything like that, but I just (thought this) group (could do that). Once you get in the playoffs, you never know what can happen, but we’ve been able to execute so far.”
The Predators swept the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs and bested the Blues in six to advance to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Nashville will play the winner of Anaheim/Edmonton for the right to play for a Stanley Cup.
The Ducks and Oilers square off in Game 7 on Wednesday at 10 p.m. Subban will likely watch the game, but he doesn’t care who wins.
“We hope that it’s a hard-hitting game and that it’s physical and that it’s taxing and it goes into triple overtime,” he said. “That would be just perfect for me.”
Subban, the 2013 James Norris Memorial Trophy winner, was also asked about the criticism he received from NBCSN broadcaster Mike Milbury before Game 2 against the Blues on April 28. Subban was having some fun before the game, dancing and performing tricks for the fans. That apparently drew the ire of Milbury, who said that Predators coach Peter Laviolette should “give him a rap on the head.”
Subban took the criticism in stride.
“I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, I’m very loose, and I don’t take myself seriously at all,” the 27-year-old said. “But I probably do kind of look like a clown with these playoff beards that I got going on. With the way these playoff bears get out of control, I’m not looking my best nowadays. I don’t care about my beard. I don’t care how I look. That’s just part of hockey. That’s part of the culture: growing a playoff beard.”
Subban hasn’t spoken to Milbury since the incident and is instead focusing on the task at hand: winning a Stanley Cup.
“It might seem like the playoffs is long, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s short. Your focus needs to be on your body, making sure that you stay healthy, making sure that you’re fresh and ready to go. The playoffs, as much as it seems that you’ve been playing a long time, it can be over just like that. If you lose your focus, that’s it. My focus has got to be on the Nashville Predators and what I need to do to be better for the next round and be prepared for Game 1. I don’t have time to think about anything else. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you get to play for a Stanley Cup. This is my third time in a conference final, and I want to take advantage of this opportunity. I’m not going to be distracted by media or anything that’s being said.”