What Killed Bryan McCabe?

Jay LaPrete/Icon SMI

Anyway you look at it #24 is a totally different defencemen then the one we traded for. The old McCabe would fight hit and was developing into a great defencive defencemen with a huge shot. Now today the only quality he has of those is the big shot. Now the question is how did he get there?

For me the defencive woes started when the can-opener was taken out of the game that was his signature move and it stopped forecheckers in there tracks. When they took that out he started to take penalties when looking for alternatives for the can-opener. However coming back and defending against an on coming rush is not McCabe’s biggest weakness. That would have to go to his play in his own zone and on the pk. He seems to give up when a forechecker who can hit comes in at him. For instance against Pittsburgh last year when Roberts came hurtling in at him he almost gave no effort against him and that allowed Roberts to set up the tying goal.

The death of good McCabe could also be attributed to his ego. He tries to do to much, this is probably because he wants to earn his contract which is an average of 5.75 million a year but the fact that he thinks that he has to play ever powerplay, he does not have nearly enough patience on the power play and as we saw last night that leads to mistakes.

His drop of play can also be put on the shoulders of the coaching change. Pat Quinn would give vets like McCabe whatever they wanted in terms of ice-time and powerplay time. In 05/06 Quinns last year as a Maple Leaf he put McCabe with Kaberle who made him as good as he was. With Maurice the first thing he did was break them up, put Kaberle with his country man Kubina and put McCabe with youngsters such as Colaiacovo or White. In the Quinn days McCabes spot on the top pairing was undisputed. Now with more defencive depth McCabe lost his spot and to me seems a bit disheartened by his drop of responsibilities. Just compare the defencive lines last year and the year before and just look at how McCabes responsibilities have been dropped off.

05/06
Kaberle-McCabe
Khavanov-Klee
Berg-Belak

06/07
Kaberle-Kubina
McCabe-Colaiacovo
White-Gill

Any of these things can be attributed to McCabes considerable drop off in play I would like to hear what you think.


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