The team’s record suggests as much, with the Devils mired in the league basement after a paltry 9-14-4 start to the season. That’s a long way away from the success Subban got used to with the Nashville Predators, with whom he trekked to the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago and earned division titles each year since.
But with the club now in need of a Blues-esque turnaround to have any chance of post-season success in 2020, Subban is under no illusions as to the state of his team.
“We should have won way more games than we have right now. I think everyone in the League knows that,” Subban told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “I think what has been tough is trying to keep that same energy, that same swagger that we had starting the season. It’s a tough thing to do because it weighs on you when you don’t win games. I think now it’s just trying to play a certain way to give our team a chance to win games.”
Brought in as one of the Devils’ marquee acquisition over the off-season, Subban’s struggled so far in 2019-20 himself, too, posting just five points through 27 games so far — a pace that would have him finish well below 30 for the first time in his career.
That said, the former Norris Trophy-winner’s got his eyes on the bigger picture.
“I’m not worried about my points,” the blue-liner said. “I mean, is this a contract year for me? Was I expected to come in and put up 70 points?
“…I try to contribute where I can. I think we’ve tried a lot of different things. I’ve played with every single defenceman on our roster. I’ve been kind of getting the tail-end part of the power play. First of all, if you want to generate numbers a lot of it comes from playing on the power play. But we have great players. We have a lot of young players that need to develop that are getting those opportunities.”
While there’s still plenty of future promise on the Devils’ roster, led by young No. 1 picks Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, the future’s less clear for veterans like Taylor Hall and Subban. For now, the 30-year-old says he’s simply focused on lifting New Jersey back into the playoff picture.
“I just want to support the team in winning hockey games,” he said. “That’s my mindset and it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m thinking that our team is going to turn this season around. I really believe we have an opportunity to do that.”