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Jake McCabe delivers hit of the year for highlight of the night


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Ryan Smitheram
December 13, 2023  (10:00)
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Following a 4-3 overtime loss Monday night in Long Island against the New York Islanders, the Toronto Maple Leafs took on the New York Rangers last night and looked surprisingly energetic, despite several members of the team battling illness and on the second half of a back-to-back, no-less. The game also was the scene of a thunderous hit from Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe, which is almost certainly a hit of the year candidate.

With the Leafs up 5-3 and nine minutes left to go in the third period, Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren carried the puck into the Leafs' zone before attempting to drop it back to Mika Zibanejad. While looking back at the puck, McCabe stepped up and delivered a massive hit to Lindgren that sent him corkscrewing through the air.
McCabe was immediately jumped by Zibanejad to fight and, of course, he obliged. It wasn't much of a fight, however, as every Ranger on the ice attempted to break it up and protect their star center. McCabe was given a minor for roughing as was Will Cuylle, who was the first Ranger to jump in to defend Zibanejad.
The hit really created some energy on the Leafs' bench and, following the game, Mitch Marner had this to say about the massive steam-rolling:
"He's a great open-ice hitter. You've seen him multiple times. He catches people with their heads down and watching pucks. He's done a couple of plays like that this year that make you happy he's on your team."

When McCabe was acquired prior to last season's trade deadline, the Leafs were hoping he would bring some sandpaper and physicality to the back end and after taking a while to adjust and battling some injuries, McCabe has finally been able to do so. As GM Brad Treliving continues to search for additional help on the blueline, finding someone that plays similar to McCabe would be ideal.
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13 DECEMBRE   |   602 ANSWERS
Jake McCabe delivers hit of the year for highlight of the night

How many points will Jake McCabe finish with this season?

10-2020934.7 %
21-3031251.8 %
31-40599.8 %
More than 40223.7 %
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