Ottawa Citizen

Sub­ban gets Tugnutt’s point

Cri­tique of goalie be­tween pe­ri­ods spurs bet­ter play

- JOANNE IRE­LAND

UFA, Rus­sia • He’s part men­tor, part psy­chol­o­gist — as most goal­tend­ing coaches are — so Ron Tugnutt has a pretty good idea of what Mal­colm Sub­ban can and can’t do in the Cana­dian net.

“He’s the type of goal­tender who can brush off a bad sit­u­a­tion, he’s able to deal with it men­tally. That’s why I think he’s got the right mind­set to be our guy,” Tugnutt be­gan by say­ing af­ter an off-day prac­tice at Ufa Arena where Canada is camp­ing out dur­ing the world ju­nior hockey cham­pi­onship.

“He’s got the abil­ity to con­tin­u­ally get in po­si­tion with the lat­eral move­ment. He’s the fastest guy,” con­tin­ued Tugnutt. “He can get into po­si­tion a lot quicker than the other guys.”

Tugnutt has been tu­tor­ing Sub­ban and Jor­dan Bin­ning­ton of the Owen Sound At­tack dur­ing the prac­tices and work­ing with Jake Pat­ter­son be­fore the ses­sions. Dur­ing the games, he’s keep­ing an eye on Sub­ban, who started Canada’s games against Ger­many and Slo­vakia.

The net­min­der, who will even­tu­ally move on to the Bos­ton Bru­ins or­ga­ni­za­tion, was told the job in Canada’s net was his to lose. But if he fin­ishes the tour­na­ment as the starter, he will be the ex­cep­tion. Not since 2007, when Carey Price was in net, have ques­tions not dogged the goal­tenders in this tour­na­ment.

“They haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced this kind of pres­sure be­fore but it’s not as bad in Rus­sia as it would be back home,” Tugnutt said. “(But Sub­ban) is loose. I’ve watched his de­meanour be­fore games. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see when we get to those big games he stays the same way.

“For him, it’s con­tin­u­ally talk­ing to him about be­ing fo­cused. I said that from start to fin­ish you need to be fo­cused.”

In the open­ing 9-3 win over Ger­many, Sub­ban was ad­mit­tedly not at his best in the first 40 min­utes, draw­ing a visit from Tugnutt in the sec­ond in­ter­mis­sion.

Tugnutt said he had talked to all the club coaches to get a read on the traits of the goalies. He had asked Sub­ban’s coach in Belleville if he liked to talk be­tween pe­ri­ods.

“I said can I be firm on him? Do I rub his back? What do I do?,” Tugnutt con­tin­ued. “So I get some in­sight from their goalie coaches. I just felt there was some­thing he wasn’t do­ing that he needed to and I was a lit­tle bit firmer on him, which I hadn’t been be­fore. And he re­sponded with a really good third pe­riod.”

ARMED ES­CORT

One of the most en­dear­ing qual­i­ties of the peo­ple in Ufa is that when you find some­one to help you, they will go out of their way to do so.

Take the plain-clothed po­lice of­fi­cer who of­fered to take four snow­bound jour­nal­ists from their ho­tel to the rink on Thurs­day morn­ing. Over a foot of snow had fallen on the city the night be­fore, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble for the ho­tel as­sis­tant to get us a taxi.

En­ter the of­fi­cer with the black Mazda, a car that was coated with a dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent fin­ish — bul­let proof per­haps? — and sport­ing a Mafia Wars air fresh­ener on the rear view mir­ror.

There was also a sil­ver ser­vice re­volver and a Ther­mos on the back seat, the former of which ended up in the hands of a tim­o­rous Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun. He care­fully handed the weapon to the of­fi­cer, who tucked it into the side pocket of the driver’s door and dis­missed it as “just a toy.”

 ?? NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS ?? Team Canada goalie Mal­colm Sub­ban, right, talks with goalie coach Ron Tugnutt dur­ing prac­tice on Thurs­day.
NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS Team Canada goalie Mal­colm Sub­ban, right, talks with goalie coach Ron Tugnutt dur­ing prac­tice on Thurs­day.

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