Thursday, June 5, 2014

P.K. Subban Jersey Card

The Final Four teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs each had common traits: dazzling speed, a desire to push themselves until their limit, and a stud defenseman. The Los Angeles Kings have Drew Doughty, perhaps the best defender in the world this year; the Chicago Blackhawks have Norris winner Duncan Keith; the New York Rangers have Ryan McDonagh; and the Montréal Canadiens have reigning Norris winner and my favourite for the Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) after three rounds of play this year, because the Habs would have gone nowhere without him: P.K. Subban.

Sure, I mentioned him in each of the last two months, but he is that electrifying - and I did get the cards. And I'm out of returns. And he is the reigning Norris winner, though he was not nominated this year (deservedly so, he only really got going after the Olympics, or when paired with Andrei Markov, perhaps the Habs' most consistent player this year).

He completely controlled the third period of the game I attended (Game 2 of Round 3, against the Rangers), but didn't have any teammates with the same fire (or strength or talent level or drive) on the ice with him; then again, it seemed like Michel Therrien kept Lars Eller and Rene Bourque on the ice for most of that period, despite their not doing anything worth that ice time in the first two. The Rangers ended up winning that one - and the series. And I got dumped, sort of. Well, a short while later, but possibly from the moment I took my cap off and my flat hair made me look bald. Could be a coincidence, but she never was the same again (even during the game), and we severed our ties a week later.

But I digress.

Subban is the real deal. And he keeps improving at everything he does all the time - even those he already does well. He may not be as ''complete'' (as reliable defensively as he is offensively) as Doughty or Shea Weber, but he's better at creating offense from the back end than anyone else in the league. If they rank as 9s (on 10) from both sides, Subban's a 9.5 going forward and at least an 8 coming back. And, as I said, improving. He's not as much a danger in his own zone as Paul Coffey was in the 1980s, or Kristopher Letang today.

And his smile can light Montréal up in a power outage. He oozes charisma like Samantha Fox does female charm, or like Patrick Roy does self-confidence.

And that's why I didn't feel like waiting to feature this card, from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Fleer Showcase (card #S-PS of the Stitches insert sub-set), featuring a red jersey swatch and showing him with the Canadiens' white (away) uniform, protecting the puck from an oncoming member of the Edmonton Oilers, about to pull off a spin-o-rama move and break loose:
And, this being a 2013-14 UD set, it comes with the certificate of authenticity only a dead man can guarantee:

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