5/21 Recap: McNabb ejected as ICE drop opener

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, May 21, 2011 | 5/21/2011

Brayden McNabb earned a late ejection for a vicious elbow Saturday as Kootenay opened the 2011 Memorial Cup with a 5-0 shutout loss to Owen Sound. McNabb, who used his long stick and physical frame throughout, showed that 'the simpler the better' is the way to play his game. He did a good job stepping into guys and using the boards to safety, and showed good hustle on an early power play (below), but there were other moments when McNabb tried to leg the puck only to succumb to the forecheck and keep the play in his end. Also of note was a miss against the speed of Cameron Brace (clip #2) that nearly resulted in an Owen Sound tally.





After a rough third period that saw him take a hooking penalty and then get beat for a goal as his up-ice pass was turned over, the 6'4 McNabb took some frustration out with 5:35 to play by landing a huge open ice elbow to the head of star forward Joey Hishon.



McNabb received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the blow, and could face additional discipline from the CHL if the headshot is deemed suspension worthy. Stay tuned as the ruling will come quick in the year-end tournament.

On Friday, Gregg Sutch executed his grinding role in spot duty as Mississauga opened the tournament with a 4-3 loss to QMJHL champion Saint John. The Majors and ICE will play game #3 of the tournament's round robin on Sunday. With Sutch regularly shuffled in and out of the lineup and McNabb possibly facing a suspension, Sabres reporters looking for a spring beat could be SOL come puck drop.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

He has a temendous way to go yet. By looking at the highlights his skating still has not improved.

puddy said...

That was probably the worst game I've ever seen McNabb play. He's been a solid leader for Kootenay, and hopefully it was simply a case of having too much time off between games. And now he's likely facing a game or two suspension for that wicked elbow to the head.
I expect the Sabres will give McNabb at least a full year of AHL hockey. However, I think a lot of fans are rushing to anoint him as Myers defensive partner for the next decade. Have Patience.

boos said...

kootenay looked outclassed for long stetches last night...owen sound has some serious speed and actually had some rhythm to their offense...

not sure what his plus/minus was, but i think he was on the ice for the mignardi-shortie, and that was it...

cody eakin choked big-time on that shortie, by the time mcnabb could recover, mignardi had already kicked in the after-burners...

meh, wasn't a great game by mcnabb, but he played pretty solid for a team that looked outclassed for most of the night...

Kris Baker said...

8:58 and 9:52 good points. You're both correct (8:58 about the skating and 9:52 because of the one-year plan and of course the rust)...

He and Myers are different players. McNabb more rugged in his own end and a much slower offensive starter.

That was one of his weaker overall games in a while, but the things that were exposed have been happening here and there along the way. Skating a notch below elite...odd timed turnovers (hard to not have a turnover when you play as much as he does).

I don't put the outlet pass that was turned into the third goal on him. It wasn't properly caught, but he did get beat on the transition back. Hard to stop.

Now keep this performance in mind the next time you watch Pysyk. Not pitting them against one another (again - different players), but the skating, smarts, and fluidity placed Pysyk higher. I took some heat for that ranking, but I think Pysyk will exceed McNabb this time next year.

Kris Baker said...

Boos - I liked the first 18:00 of the first period for McNabb. I thought his first power play shift was especially excellent. I took video of his shift when he patiently took the puck down the right side, got a shot off, then retreated back to the left point to use his long reach to sweep/keep the puck inside the line. Later he delivered some nice bullets from the point. One that got blocked had to leave a mark this morning...

Two real good seals as well - one in the corner at even strength that stopped the Attack flow, and another where he leaned into the rush and smoked a guy into the boards.

He is NOT a puck carrier. A few strides out of trouble and off his stick. His teammates were leaving the zone a little early.

boos said...

nice to have you back, kris

Kris Baker said...

Thanks, Boos. Good to be back...if you didn't notice I went back and added that play I was referring to on the PP. Good hustle to make a simple little keep. I thought it was worth noting because he knew where his post was and made a pretty responsible play.

boos said...

mcnabb got one game for "reckless action by the player, but not an attempt to injure."

fair suspension...

i'm not a fan of dirty hits, and mcnabb seems like a pretty clean, hard-hitting player...

could we chalk that hit up to a frustrated player who hates to lose?

boos said...

thx for the video...

one thing that was predominent in his performance last night, and the announcers constantly mentioned it, was his stick-work...

his stick-work, as shown in that video you posted, is exceptional...

Anonymous said...

Hey Kris, would you label McNabb, or label any other prospect as a hands-off prospect - a prospect we absoultely should not trade? I remember you said before, not in these words, but he was one of the few shutdown talents we have, as Sundher is one of the few talented centers we have - almost like these players are untouchable given the prospects we have. Did you mean something along these lines, and who do you think is untouchable amongst the prospects? (To me, Enroth is 100% untouchable, though teams like Philly might be interested and could give up something good, but he is the only player I may still be nervous of letting go no matter what we get in return.)

Anonymous said...

...a realistic return

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