Sabres' McCabe looking to get some consistency back into his game

December 11, 2019 - 3:42 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Whether you think Jake McCabe is playing well or not, there's one thing I can tell you, McCabe is a fiercely competitive man and he takes poor play and losing very hard.

The Sabres have eight NHL defensemen on the roster so at different times McCabe, Marco Scandella and Colin Miller have sat out. McCabe has sat out twice and he said, "It's tough. We're all competitive, especially in the back end, but I will say that everyone has handled it very well, I mean as well as you can when you're not in the lineup. We've maintained good attitudes and we're still cheering for each other out there, so it's been tough, but it's one of those things that we all knew the situation was going to come to this, so we've all handled it really professionally."

There are definitely things McCabe wants to improve upon in his game. He said, "For sure, by no means is it perfect. When you get scratched it's not a good thing so you're just trying to work on just being more consistent and I'm definitely not satisfied, that's for sure."

Watching from above it seems like at times McCabe is trying to do too much. He didn't disagree with that, "Yes, there's a lot of pressure in this job and we have high expectations in here and I have very high expectations for myself too, so when you're not in the lineup, you're pressing a little bit more or you're thinking about it, but it's all competition, so hopefully it'll bring the best out of us."

The Sabres have gotten points in eight out of 10 games going 5-2-3. That has them alone in second place in the Atlantic Division and only two points behind in the Wild Card race. McCabe said improvements have been made, "I think guys have been working at how we want to play as a team as far as being really strong defensively and try to support each other all over the ice.

"The forwards have been doing a good job of providing back pressure allowing us to have good gaps in the back end, which makes our lives a lot easier plus we've been doing a better job of solving pressure and getting the puck out of our end pretty quickly and killing plays, so that's all leading to some success, but we still have some areas we want to clean up as far as the D zone goes, but the last littl bit it's been promising for sure."

Rasmus Dahlin was cleared for contact in Wednesday's practice and worked with the No. 1 power play. That usually means that the player is coming back the next game, but Ralph Krueger said they want to see how Dahlin reacted to being bounced around a little in practice. Kruger admitted that Dahlin did look promising.

Wednesday's lines:

Vesey Johansson Asplund

Girgensons Larsson Okposo

Olofsson Eichel Reinhart

Skinner Rodrigues Sheary (Mittelstadt)

Dahlin Miller

Montour Ristolainen

Scandella Bogosian

McCabe Jokiharju

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