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Is it time to split up Subban and Markov?


Psycing
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Without question, Subban and Markov have become Montreal best defensive pairing since being united earlier this season. They're among the team's top five scorers but their production has slowed as of late - particularly on the powerplay. Emelin's return to the lineup has shored up the top six, but his game has struggled lately.

So is it time to split up Subban and Markov? At even strength or powerplay or both? Why or why not?

Discuss.

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absolutely not imo, Georges and Emelin are struggling a little at the same time right now, which is making it look like more of a panic situation than it is. But the fact is both are capable, and will get out of this funk, regain confidence and start making the right decisions instinctively again. Once that happens, it won't look like they need Markov or Subban's help, and we can leave this dynamic duo intact.

The only time these 2 should be separated is if one is injured, mostly because Markov needs to spend every minute possible that he has left as an active player, mentoring Subban to be a more dominant version of what he was, and that kind of thing can't happen if they are separated to make Emelin or Georges look better during a slump. It's very much a little evil for the greater good type situation in my eyes.

Edited by Link67
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I think it's worth a try. It's not as though Subban has been reliant on Markov's mentorship prior to this season. Both are big boys accustomed to playing without each other. Give it a go, and if it's a disaster, reunite them. But my guess is that whoever PK is playing with will suddenly start to look better - and ditto for #79.

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I agree with the Cucumber, it can't hurt.... Georges always looks better with Subban, and I hate seeing Subban have to be the stay at home guy when paired with Markov, so yeah, split them up for a try...

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I agree with the Cucumber, it can't hurt.... Georges always looks better with Subban, and I hate seeing Subban have to be the stay at home guy when paired with Markov, so yeah, split them up for a try...

Ah, you're speaking on just even strength.

I definitely agree there. Markov/Emelin and Gorges/Subban is just a better way to go in spreading out the depth.

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Markov & Diaz and Subban & Yemelin would be fine regular pairings.

And play Subban with 14, 21, 27, 11 on 1st PP and Markov/Diaz on 2nd unit.

Simply to shake it up, especially on the PP.

But as someone said, defense is not the weakest link on this team.

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I still feel the shake up needs to happen UP FRONT not on the back-end.

PP1

Galchenyuk - Plekanec - Gallagher

Markov - Subban

PP2

Pacioretty - Eller - Gionta

Diaz - Subban

Interesting note: Briere, Desharnais and Bourque are all averaging more PP TOI/G than Plekanec and Gionta, despite Plek and Gio having more points on PP combined than the three.

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Markov is a great mentor for basically any defence man beacause of his great positional play, but am I the only one who thinks P.K. Is getting slightly negatively affected lately?

I've noticed a huge drop in P.K.'s physical game lately. That may be due to fatigue, but I also wonder if he's trying to play Markov's game of positional hockey. P.K. Should not be following that part of markov's game as P.K. Is at his best when he's physical.

Overall I think Markov has a positive influence but P.K. Is just so good and his own game is so good that I think he should only be taking tips, not actually trying to be Markov. All P.K. Needs is for people to let him be P.K.

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I would agree that D is not the problem right now, but I've been hoping for a Markov-Subban split up ever since I heard that Markov was averaging career high ice time this season. We all saw how he faded last season, albeit returning from injury. Still, he's not getting any younger and with this being an Olympic year, it's going to be an extra long season. They need to stay together on the PP as they are lethal together. At even strength, however, I'd like to see Markov-Emelin and Gorges-Subban make a reappearance. Those combinations were great last season and would help Markov's legs over the course of the season with Gorges-Subban getting the top minutes..

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I think so, but the issue is that this team is so poorly constructed that we have 2 # 1 dmen, a number three dman (Emelin), Gorges and Diaz two #5's and two number 6/7 dmen. Any pairing without Subban suffers, then you have a decent #1 pairing, and two bad pairings. Markov is holding PK back, he should be taking the puck up the ice every time.

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I think so, but the issue is that this team is so poorly constructed that we have 2 # 1 dmen, a number three dman (Emelin), Gorges and Diaz two #5's and two number 6/7 dmen. Any pairing without Subban suffers, then you have a decent #1 pairing, and two bad pairings. Markov is holding PK back, he should be taking the puck up the ice every time.

Yea PK needs to play his own game, that's how I feel. Were in a slump, we aren't that poorly constructed. We're missing a few peices though. Up front is where the problem is mostly, like a few of you guys said

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I think so, but the issue is that this team is so poorly constructed that we have 2 # 1 dmen, a number three dman (Emelin), Gorges and Diaz two #5's and two number 6/7 dmen. Any pairing without Subban suffers, then you have a decent #1 pairing, and two bad pairings. Markov is holding PK back, he should be taking the puck up the ice every time.

With respect, wrong, wrong and wrong again :rastapop: 1. The team is not "poorly constructed"--we are near the top of the conference; 2. We have a decent D--they are not perfect but ga is not our real problem,; 3. Markov is NOT " holding PK back" ?! PK is learning from the master; 4. PK should NOT be rushing the puck up the ice *everytime*. If PK rushes all the time opposing d will key on it and he will not be as effective. PH makes a great first pass--he needs to use all of his tools.

I do agree that we coud use a defensive upgrade , but when the team is winning 1-0 in OT and losing low scoring games by a goal D is not the pressing issue. We need a sniper, that is all

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The team is poorly constructed at FW. One or two changes could fix that, however - although I'm not pretending that'll be easy to accomplish.

On D, the team has three top-4 defencemen. That's fine, but I don't like the lack of a crumple zone - one injury to the top-4 and we're in trouble. One more top-4 defenceman would therefore be a brilliant addition, giving us the depth we need to survive a playoff grind.

That said, here's the difference: at FW, even with everyone healthy, we are still flawed. DD, Briere, Gio = too many sporadically-productive smurfs; Bourque + Patches + Eller = too many inconsistent bigger players. On D, with everyone healthy, we're fine. So the priority does indeed have to be up front.

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Guest Stogey24

The team is poorly constructed at FW. One or two changes could fix that, however - although I'm not pretending that'll be easy to accomplish.

On D, the team has three top-4 defencemen. That's fine, but I don't like the lack of a crumple zone - one injury to the top-4 and we're in trouble. One more top-4 defenceman would therefore be a brilliant addition, giving us the depth we need to survive a playoff grind.

That said, here's the difference: at FW, even with everyone healthy, we are still flawed. DD, Briere, Gio = too many sporadically-productive smurfs; Bourque + Patches + Eller = too many inconsistent bigger players. On D, with everyone healthy, we're fine. So the priority does indeed have to be up front.

I feel pretty confident in saying Borque will be traded this year(not exactly the guy I want to see go). The only thing I hope is that Borque is packaged along with one of the smurfs.
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; 3. Markov is NOT " holding PK back" ?! PK is learning from the master;

Ok, enough is enough. Andrei Markov is a below average number one defenseman, and a number two defenseman on any team that's a Cup contender. I've had enough of his canonization. He's a power play specialist, and if anything, his injuries have done nothing but hold us back, and if we traded him in his prime we would have been better off. Our Norris trophy winner is learning the Euro Way-stick checks, avoiding hits, in regards to dishing them out and taking them and waiting around for powerplays. Put Markov with Gorges or Emelin, and we'll see who's to thank for this new "Defensive Markov."

With the way he's discussed around here, I was shocked not to see #79 included in the new Hobbit movie. He is clearly a mythical legend.

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I doubt it's Markov why Subban is playing the way he is. It seems like the Team Canada complaints are legitimate and he's trying to not be out of position on hits anymore. Blame TSN.

No. Subban is, I'm sure, trying to adjust to the demands of the coaching staff. And as I've said a number of times that the staff may be overplaying their hand in trying to cram Subban into a rigidly "safe" template. The end result will likely be a PK Subban that is universally approved-of by all the right NHL old boys, who gets 50 points per season with a good +/-, but who no longer makes dazzling plays, crushing hits, and spectacular rushes. Because, you know, we wouldn't want to see any flair or creativity in the NHL. Can't have that.

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You can't stop Subban's flare, though. He has been showing it in every game with exception to against LA. LA just doesn't allow freewheeling in the neutral zone. Therrien did nothing to adjust that, which has been why that game is my biggest complaint of Therrien's tenure on Montreal.

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François Gagnon has a column on this very subject this morning, in French: http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/devrait-on-s%C3%A9parer-markov-et-subban-1.818640

He says that mixing things up would do no harm at this point, if not better even out the duos. He's proposing Emelin with Markov and Subban with Gorges

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Subban blocked 5 shots last game, or one before and that is something he wasnt doing before and showing maturity-increased effort on back end, the opposite of what you see from Karlsson who continues to turnover puck and be terribly weak defensively.

Subban all-round game is improving, no matter who he is paired with, be it Gorges-Markov or Yemelin and dont really care who he is paired with, all 3 are fine choices.

But Diaz-Markov were once a deadly pair on the PP, for short stint anyways. So, i still say, Subban and 4 forwards might be worth a try?

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Guest Stogey24

Subban blocked 5 shots last game, or one before and that is something he wasnt doing before and showing maturity-increased effort on back end, the opposite of what you see from Karlsson who continues to turnover puck and be terribly weak defensively.

Subban all-round game is improving, no matter who he is paired with, be it Gorges-Markov or Yemelin and dont really care who he is paired with, all 3 are fine choices.

But Diaz-Markov were once a deadly pair on the PP, for short stint anyways. So, i still say, Subban and 4 forwards might be worth a try?

Subban is on the same pace for blocking shots as any other year. The main difference in his game is the huge hits that put him out of position. He doesn't line guys up as much any more. There is a lot more stick play involved in his game now.
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I doubt it's Markov why Subban is playing the way he is. It seems like the Team Canada complaints are legitimate and he's trying to not be out of position on hits anymore. Blame TSN.

Yeah, it's crazy how much criticism Subban takes any time he does anything the least bit wrong. I can't remember which game it was recently, but Markov made huge errors which led to goals and the announcers barely mentioned it. If it had been PK, they would have talked about it for 10 minutes.

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Looks like the Habs finally made the switch during tonight's game vs. Phoenix. Considering the win, I'd say it worked out well. We'll see if it sticks.

In my opinion, it's the best situation. Splitting Markov and Subban means the team has a puck moving defenseman on each pairing with a shutdown guy. The balance helps the team move the puck up the ice from defense with a lot more ease no matter which pairing or forward line is on the ice. It should lead to more offense in the long run.

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