Having put pen-to-paper to a four-year contract in the summer, McCabe initially found it hard to adjust to his surroundings, however, the defensemen has put in some solid performances.
He was criticised initially for losing his man in key positions, being partly responsible for conceding 15 goals in 12 games – an average of 4.6 per 60 minutes.
McCabe feeling “more comfortable”
Despite an underwhelming start to the season, the player admits that he feels a difference at the Blackhawks, stating: “The first dozen games probably weren’t my best,” he said. “I started moving my feet a little better. I started getting a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more confident and started playing a little better.”
Meanwhile, interim coach Derek King paid tribute to his improvement before the festive break alluding to the fact that his presence is now making it a lot easier for the team:
“The big thing is that he’s moving his feet, he’s skating,” King said pre-Christmas.
“He’s not standing still, waiting for things to happen — he’s making things happen. He’s a big part of our ‘D’ back there, and when he’s playing like that, it makes our game a lot easier.”
McCabe’s teammate, Connor Murphy currently now leads him in the defensive statistic numbers and he was vocal about the competitive nature within the roster.
“[I want to] be the player that’s expected of me: be harder to play against, be physical, a good puck-mover, keep the puck out of our net and contribute on the penalty kill the best I can,” Murphy said.
“Those are the main points of my game, and I need to continue to bring that every night and continue to work on improving that.”
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