Malcolm Subban was playing in his first game since March 28, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he was a bit rusty. That certainly wasn’t the case tonight.
After not starting in goal for nearly a month, Subban skated onto Detroit ice and shut out the Red Wings decisively. He made a number of terrific stops in this game, including a terrific cross-crease glove save against Wings forward Darren Helm, keeping a puck out of the net that would’ve probably gone in nine times out of ten.
With his victory tonight, Subban has his second shutout of the season, stopping all 29 shots he faced. While I have been a bit hard on Subban in the past, I also think that part of the reason for his previous bad performances was due to his ice time. He just doesn’t have that much experience, and starting in net once a month isn’t going to get him that far. In my opinion, he should’ve started in at least a few games before tonight, if only to take some of the pressure off of Kevin Lankinen.
The truth is that Malcolm Subban is likely never going to be a starting NHL goalie. However, that does not mean that he cannot be an extremely reliable backup. While he is not all that consistent, when he is on top of his game, he is nearly impossible to beat, and that held true tonight.
If nothing else, hopefully Subban gets a few more chances to start before the end of the season, because his performance tonight proves that he can compete in this league. He just needs to be more consistent, and if he can find a way to do that, then I think we can expect more shutouts from him in the future.