Since being traded, Malcolm Subban has yet to make a start for the Chicago Blackhawks.
It’s been six games since the Vegas Golden Knights traded Malcolm Subban to the Chicago Blackhawks as part of a package that sent Robin Lehner in return and Subban hasn’t made his first start with his new team yet.
He has, however, made an appearance that lasted a minute and ten seconds against the Anaheim Ducks on March 3 when Corey Crawford was taken out for a possible concussion from being kneed by Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf, which he ultimately returned to finish the game.
Coincidentally, Subban’s last game was against the Ducks on February 23 where he gave up five goals on 30 shots in a 6-5 OT win for the Golden Knights.
Overall, he has 19 starts in his 21 games played for nine wins with seven losses this season. His save percentage is below average at .890 and has a goals-against-average of 3.17. You can read more about his background here.
The real question now is: when will he make his first start?
The Blackhawks just had their first back-to-back since the trade, facing off against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. But Crawford got the nod in both games, something that has never happened this season. However, Crawford has been outstanding over the last while, posting a 2.22 GAA and a .936 save percentage over the four-game winning streak.
Now that the Blackhawks no longer have two elite goaltenders and are still fighting for a playoff spot, it’s expected that Crawford will play the majority of the remaining games. Though, if they do start inching closer to a playoff spot, Crawford will need a bit of rest heading into a potential first-round series.
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And that’s where Subban comes in. His role won’t be like the one Lehner played where, if he gets hot, he’ll keep playing. Look for him to maybe get a couple in the remaining fourteen games.
The first could potentially be against the Ottawa Senators at home on Friday, March 13. It’s another back-to-back situation, but look for them to split it this time. The Blackhawks play in Washington against the Capitals on Saturday night and seems like a game more suited for Crawford to play in.
Despite this still being a new situation for Subban in Chicago, it’d be more comfortable to play in a home game, especially since he’s had a few games to get used to things.
As far as how he’ll perform, it’s tough to measure him to what Lehner brought to the Blackhawks, both on and off the ice. Though, having underperformed this year, Subban will be looking forward to a fresh start and an opportunity to show the promise he’s been known for.
As a restricted free agent at the end of the year, he’ll also be playing for a contract, whether that be with the Blackhawks or another team that sees a fit should they decide not to do anything with his rights.
With their AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs announcing goalie Kevin Lankinen had season-ending shoulder surgery, the move actually helped Rockford not lose two goalies to an injury and a call-up.
Some questioned the move of bringing Subban back since their goalie position is pretty full. But, for what it’s worth, it shores things up for the rest of the season.