MONTREAL - I can't figure out whether Canadiens coach Jacques Martin is a genius or a riverboat gambler on a hot streak.

Maybe he's a little bit of both.

As crazy as it seems to bench your best defenceman two games in a row -- and if P.K. Subban hasn't been the Canadiens best two-way defenceman this season, please tell me who's been better -- when the move coincides with winning back-to-back games for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks, there's an apparent method to the madness.

Either that, or Martin got lucky when Carey Price stole two points against San Jose Saturday after the Canadiens beat up on the struggling Devils in New Jersey Thursday, with Subban watching both games from the press box.

I get that Subban was being taught a lesson after a couple of critical mistakes in last Wednesday's loss to the Oilers.

I also get that coaches don't like to mess with a winning lineup, which is why Subban also sat Saturday against San Jose.

But it's enough already. Point taken. Lesson learned.

We're not dealing with a marginal talent here.

Subban hasn't undergone an overnight transformation from widely-touted rookie of the year frontrunner and future Norris Trophy candidate to dispensable spare part.

The Canadiens are doing well in the standings, but they're not THAT good.

Subban is who fans want to see

Competitive considerations aside, there's also this: last Wednesday's fiasco notwithstanding, P.K. Subban's performance and enthusiasm have made him the most popular Canadiens player this side of Carey Price.

As a paying customer, if I'm dropping four bills on a pair in the reds and he's a healthy scratch, I'm not getting my money's worth.