Canadiens' Subban happy with any Team Canada role

Defenceman P.K. Subban during Team Canada's first practice in Sochi, Russia. (Al Charest/QMI Agency)

Defenceman P.K. Subban during Team Canada's first practice in Sochi, Russia. (Al Charest/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 PM ET

SOCHI, RUSSIA - It's still unclear if P.K. Subban will be wearing a Team Canada sweater come Thursday when Canada opens the Olympic tournament.

But the Montreal Canadiens defenceman is wearing his heart -- and the Maple Leaf -- on his sleeve.

Subban has been on what looks like the fourth pairing with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamuis at practice. One defenceman will sit out each game.

"Listen, I'm not going to spend any energy analyzing what's going to happen in the tournament. I'm going to take whatever role I am given and excel at it. That's your job as a pro. That's your job as an Olympic hockey player and representing your country. As a citizen of Canada, that's your job. It's your duty to do that," said Subban.

"I'm just excited that we're only a couple of days away from starting the tournament. It's probably going to fly by a lot quicker than we think so I'm just trying to enjoy every moment."

A guy like veteran defenceman Dan Boyle started out in Vancouver behind some other big names and wound up playing the second-most minutes in the gold-medal game.

There's nothing to say Subban couldn't wind up enjoying the same kind of elevation in the lineup.

"This is Canada. We want to win. We come here to win just like every other country, but as a country where hockey is such a big sport and such a big part of our culture, we take it very seriously. The best players will play," said Subban.

"Look at our team. We have so much talent and so many players who are capable of playing. It's not a knock on anyone if they're playing seven minutes a game, not playing at all or playing a lot. You've just got to have a positive attitude and go into it with a lot of energy and optimistic. That's the way everybody is looking at it."

SHARP ON POINT

If you're looking for a wrinkle from Team Canada, forward Patrick Sharp took some turns on the point on one of the power-play units Tuesday.

It's an interesting development given the type of talent Canada has on the blue line with almost all their defenceman playing the point on their club teams.

It probably doesn't bode well for a guy like Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban, who could possibly be used as a power-play specialist.

"For me it's not surprising. I've been doing it for about five or six years and I feel it's something that I'm good at, I'm capable of doing it," Sharp said.

The size of the end zones are different here (the neutral zone is bigger, cutting the distance from the blue line to the goal line), so it's taken us a little longer to adjust to that. But I'm out there with good players. I feel like when I play the point on the power play, it gets me involved in the game, it helps my 5-on-5 play, I handle the puck more, I'm involved in important shifts. I really like playing it."

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


Photos