With P.K. Subban back in the fold, one would have thought that the drama that followed him around during the lockout and his subsequent holdout would have subsided. That does not appear to be the case. Word out of Montreal today indicates that head coach Michel Therrien has banned the popular “Triple Low 5” celebration that Subban and Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had engaged in after Habs’ wins, and had become a favorite of the Montreal fanbase.
Therrien said of the move that he wanted his team to be more humble, and stated that the team would salute the fans by raising their sticks at centre ice after home wins. This would be the only move acceptable for celebrating team wins. Therrien went on to say, “In life you have to be humble. We have to respect the game, other team, the fans.”
Bascially what we have here is an NHL coach defending the traditional ways of doing things. Standing up for the old guard and rejecting the passion that is part of the new generation of the NHL. Basically Michel Therrien is against the new way of celebrating, and calling any flashy celebrations, as the work of “disrespectful douchers” (as argued in this article by the Big Mick).
This rejection of personality is not good for the team, nor for the fans. The Habs have one of the loudest (if not the loudest) buildings in the NHL. The passion of the hockey fan in Montreal is unmistakeable. Subban and Price are fan favorites, and I believe the crowd enjoys the personality these two display. It has become a trademark of Canadiens’ wins over the past two seasons and part of the fun of the game.
The celebration occurs in the Habs end of the rink, and is not taunting or mocking the opposition. It is a fun way for the players to celebrate a hard fought win, engage the fans, and is not individualistic as it is part of the team celebrations with their goaltender.
To me this is just another example of stodgy, old school hockey culture taking away from the new and exciting passion that engages younger generations.
Earlier this month, Therrien stated that he was going to try to make PK Subban not just a better player, but also a better person. Those words were ominous and unexplained at the time, but it appears that this move is his first step to doing so. Therrien should let the kid be, and not try to suck the personality, good humour, and fun that has made Subban one of the most likeable and energetic players among the Canadiens fanbase.
What’s next? No celebrations for anyone, even the fans. No personality allowed in Montreal. If anyone so much as does more than a polite golf clap for goals, we should escort them out of the Bell Centre. Its disrespectful to celebrate scoring on or beating the other team, winning games isn’t the goal of pro sports, its about respect apparently. Heck maybe we’ll even let the other team score, to ensure all games end in a tie. Wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and show them up.