Subban, Habs silence Boston with 'character' win

Subban, Habs silence Boston with 'character' win
May 14, 2014, 11:45 pm

BOSTON - P.K. Subban couldn't wait for Game 7 - but the wait was well worth it.

After Game 6, Subban told reporters of going back to Boston, "I can’t wait for the crowd, the noise, the energy in the building. I can’t wait to take that all away from them."

Wednesday night, he and the Canadiens did just that, knocking off the Bruins a 3-1, and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.

"Listen, I said it at the start of the series, we had a resilient team," Subban said. "I thought we competed very hard - very hard - against a bigger team, a stronger team, and a more experienced team. I think at some point a lot of people were saying, you know, don't poke the bear, well I thought they gave us many reasons to keep competing throughout the series. At the end I'm just proud of my bunch . . . that's a character win for us, that's a character series win for us."

The Canadiens came in as the underdogs in the series, but there were many hockey fans that knew they would be the Bruins toughest test in their quest for the Cup. That was never more apparent after the first game of the series, when Montreal stole Game 1 and put the doubters on notice. Although Boston fought back in the series, taking a 3-2 series lead into Game 6, the Canadiens didn't fold, instead dominating a 4-0 game to force Game 7, where they continued to look like the better team.

"This is a great accomplishment from that group, and we just beat the best team in the league," Habs head coach Michel Therrien said. "We were down 2-to-3 [games], and we showed a lot of character, a lot of passion. And to be able to win the series here in Boston, it’s a tough place for teams to come and play here. I’m really proud about the performance of our players."

It was emotional. It was physical. It was - and certainly will remain - a classic rivalry. One that will get more intense (believe it or not) as the two teams battle in the future.

"It’s a big rival, and it was a big series," Canadiens forward Brian Gionta said. "Anytime that you can come in and knock off the number one team in the league, you know you’re doing something right. You know your group is on the right track. I thought we had a great series battling hard against a great team, and we came out on top."

As for Subban? Well, let's just say most of what he does and says on and off the ice is calculated. He knows how to get under the skin of opposing players, especially the Bruins it seems. And he seems to embrace the fact that he's public enemy No. 1 around these parts. Hey, if it takes the heat off the rest of his guys, even better.

"Everything that comes out of my mouth I try to think in the best interest of my team," Subban said. "It's just another opportunity for people to talk about me a little bit more, focus on me while my teammates do the job and get it done. I said after the game, I don't always expect to come in and be the guy to score the game-winning goal every time, or score in overtime or be the guy to put our team over the top. I just want to be a part of it. For me, I just wanted to see my teammates win, and I wanted to see them compete, and I'm just happy we got the win today. Saying that, obviously I knew that was going to draw some attention for sure."

Subban got plenty of attention for what he said, but it's how he and the Canadiens played that has earned them much more attention going into the next round.