Like many in the Nashville community, I believe P.K. Subban has earned consideration for this year’s Norris Trophy. The award is often given to the league’s highest-scoring defenseman, although it is supposedly given to best overall defenseman. This year, it is shaping out to be Dallas defenseman John Klingberg.
Subban’s contribution to a team goes well beyond his offensive capabilities, though they are considerable. In my opinion, Subban’s irreplaceability comes from his transition play. As soon as the puck gets to his stick, Nashville is attacking. Of course, this can make for some pretty high-profile turnovers by Subban, but the good heavily outweighs the bad.
His deployment is well illustrated by his zone start ratio. Unsurprisingly, his expected goals for percentage has taken a hit compared to last season:
His offensive zone start percentage of 41.52% is the lowest of any defenseman on the Nashville Predators’ roster. On top of that, when you look at his specific opposition, you’ll see a lot of familiar names. Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos – each of these players has faced P.K.’s shutdown ability.
P.K. Subban is as valuable an asset to this team as any player could be. Night after night, he’s matched against the most lethal forwards an opponent can offer. In spite of that, he leads his team in overall points this season. Once again, I’ll mention “Norris Trophy.”