P.K. Subban vs. Kris Letang

steve laidlaw





Laidlaw’s latest cage match – PK Subban vs. Kris Letang

I have been waiting for months, nay years, to spring a Kris Letang vs. Erik Karlsson Cage Match. It feels like it should be a compelling matchup. The problem is every chance Letang gets to sneak ahead he goes and gets hurt. He's now officially on Dobber's Band-Aid Boy list. Injuries are always going to be a problem with him – there's just no avoiding that now. So as much as I would love to spout on about how Letang could be a better bet than Karlsson in a fantasy league I can't because he can't stay healthy long enough for that to be a reasonable possibility. And yes Karlsson is out with that gross Achilles slicing incident, which caused us to demote him from god-status to demi-god, but the freak of nature may actually play on Thursday! He's back up to god status – nothing can hold him back. It feels like it's taken Karlsson less time to get back from this Achilles cut than it has for Letang to get back from his groin pull (and that's only part hyperbole). Seriously, I would love to do this Cage Match, but Karlsson is in-human. We've got to find a better comparison.

Enter Pernell-Karl Subban.


PK Subban has taken his game up a whole other level after holding out early this season, which completely justifies the whole ordeal on his end. The only question is how did 29 other teams not pounce on this with an offer sheet? We know that it wasn't outside the realm of possibility that an offer sheet could be handed out because the Flames gave one to Ryan O'Reilly even though he would have had to clear waivers. (Sorry for that tangent, this just frustrates me.) The point is that PK is damn good and is well on his way to a Norris Trophy. He leads the league in defenseman scoring (Letang is second) and has done so in fewer games than most because of his aforementioned hold out (Letang has played fewer games because, duh, he's a Band-Aid Boy).

In all, PK has 36 points in 40 games, which is a fantastic result but we've seen plenty of great half-seasons from defensemen, only to see them fizzle in the second half. There is no second half this year so we can't really know what PK could do in a full season. All we know for sure is that Subban is finally fulfilling all the promise he's shown.

Physically, Subban is one of the most gifted athletes in the league. He's big, he's strong, he's fast and he's agile. He's got the complete package and he's always had good instincts too. Those instincts have been refined with experience and he's starting to make better and better decisions. The result – more responsibility, more minutes, more points – a huge win for poolies. But is his run sustainable?

For one, about two-thirds of PK's points have come via the power play (23 to be