New Leafs defenceman Jake McCabe picks up 17 penalty minutes on one play in defence of John Tavares
During the NHL’s unusually busy trading season, the Toronto Maple Leafs were among the busiest teams.
One way to avoid getting lost in the rookie mix is to stand up for your teammate. Maple Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe did just that on Saturday when Tyler Myers countered a monster strike against Toronto captain John Tavares.
The fight between Myers and McCabe was short but energetic, but the Toronto newcomer received 17 penalty minutes per game—five for fighting, plus a two-minute instigator and a 10-minute misconduct.
It is promising that Tavares has moved on to the next shift. However, this situation is worth looking at. As you may remember, he suffered serious and horrific injuries from an accidental hit by Corey Perry back in the 2021 postseason. Aside from Myers’ hard hitting, Tavares seemed to make some impact as he collided with Canucks forward Andriy Kuzmenko before he fell to the ice.
McCabe in updated Maple Leafs defense after trade deadline
Saturday marked McCabe’s third game with the Maple Leafs after being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. The underrated defender isn’t a frequent fighter, but he’s also not shy about dropping his gloves. Hockey Fights lists eight fights with McCabe: six with the Buffalo Sabres, two with the Chicagos, and one with the Maple Leafs. It could be 13th fight in Myers’ career.
So far with the Maple Leafs, 29 logged more than 20 minutes per walk. McCabe hasn’t called for attacks yet, and while Toronto hasn’t acquired him to be a fighter, it’s hoped he’s the type of player who can take on difficult, unglamourous tasks, such as wrestling a tree foe.
It will be interesting to see how the Maple Leafs’ already deep blue line splits with the addition of McCabe, Luke Schenn and Eric Gustafsson, with Rasmus Sandin being the most notable guard to be sent off.