PK booed, loved and scrutinized, welcome to Habs hockey
New Jersey Devils' P.K. Subban continues to be a fan favourite in Montreal even if some Saturday night booed the former Norris Trophy winner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
MONTREAL -- More than any player in recent memory, when PK Subban returns to Montreal, it's noticed.
The former bleu-blanc-rouge fan favourite's first return this season to the Bell Centre Saturday night with the New Jersey Devils did not go unnoticed.
BOOed on the ice
Social media was active during the night with fans calling out those in the arena who booed no. 76 every time he touched the puck.
"PK Subban did not deserve the treatment he got tonight," wrote Caroline Arbour on Twitter with the hashtag #shameful.
The booing was intense at the beginning of the game, but died down as the game wore on.
Making the rounds
Many on social media pointed to Subban's visit to the Montreal Children's Hospital before the game (as he does every time he comes to town) as proof of his character, and that he still has a heart for the city that made him a star.
"Noboby loved MTL more than PK and what he does for the Children's is phenomenal," wrote one fan.
Subban posted a pic of himself and Sandrine, a patient at the Children's, who inspired the PK Subban Foundation, which tells patients' stories.
"Sending her love, & praying for her & the rest of the children at the hospital," Subban wrote on Twitter.
In addition to a stop at the Children's, Subban also posted pics of him with French soccer legend and new Montreal Impact coach Thierry Henry.
Reevaluating the trade
Three-and-a-half years after the trade sent seismic waves through the city's Habs' faithful, two things have become apparent: the trade may not have been as lopsided as it first seemed and there is still a lot of love for PK.
In 2016, Habs GM Marc Bergevin's decision to trade the popular defenceman to Nashville in return for Predator captain Shea Weber was panned by many.
Now, not so much.
Though you don't need to look far to find a no. 76 in the crowd, the tide is starting to turn in favour of no. 6's quality as a leader at the Bell Centre.
The Sicamous, BC native and Habs captain leads his Devils' counterpart in all stats categories, and many analysts are crediting Weber with inspiring the team to play above its talent.
PK, however, had the last laugh Saturday when the Devils came from behind to beat the Habs 4-3 in OT.