Subban expects to hear boos

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

Two of the key players on Team Canada's gold-medal winning world junior team return to Ottawa this weekend.

Defenceman P.K. Subban and his Belleville Bulls are in town tonight to play the 67's. On Sunday, the John Tavares show comes to the Civic Centre.

Tavares, the MVP of the world junior championship, has continued right where he left off with Team Canada. In seven games since being traded Jan. 8 from Oshawa to the OHL's highest-scoring team, the London Knights, Tavares has 13 goals and 20 points. Heading into tonight's matchup against the Frontenacs in Kingston, he leads the OHL in scoring with 39 goals and 75 points in 39 games.

Subban has also been hot since winning gold in Ottawa on Jan. 5, and so has Bulls teammate Eric Tangradi, who played for the U.S. at the world juniors. Before last night's game in Peterborough, Subban had two goals and five assists in seven games, while Tangradi, a forward, had eight goals -- including four game winners -- and five assists.

Subban was cheered loudly the last time he was in Ottawa, playing for his country, but he's not sure what to expect tonight (7:30) playing for Belleville, which is in first place ahead of the 67's in OHL East Division.

"It's always great when you can get a warm welcome from the fans," said Subban, a Canadiens prospect.

"But to be honest, most of the time it's not, 'Way to go P.K.,' it's 'P.K. you suck,' but that can also make you want to play better, too, so we'll see. But I think all the Team Canada players who come back to Ottawa deserve a warm welcome, whether it's Cody Hodgson or Ryan Ellis, they should all get the same kind of ovation if there is one."

That, of course, includes Tavares.

He has exploded on London's top line with Nazem Kadri, who was invited to Team Canada's selection camp in December but did not make the team. Both are expected to be high draft picks at this spring's NHL draft. Tavares is ranked first among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, while Kadri, who has 19 goals and 60 points in 37 games, is 11th.

Ottawa is still without defenceman Tyler Cuma, who injured his knee at the selection camp. The Wild draft pick is scheduled to return Feb. 6.

"Definitely we want to talk to Minnesota, as a courtesy, and we want to talk to the doctors and make sure he's 100% before we play him," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "Because we haven't had him for this long, we're not going to rush it for the sake of a game or two."

Rookie Tyler Toffoli is still recovering from a slight concussion and is doubtful tonight, but Kilrea hopes to have him in the lineup Sunday against London (3 p.m.).

Chris Perugini will start in goal for the 67's tonight.


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