McCabe ignores Norris talk

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

Fair or not, the leading scorer among defencemen in the National Hockey League always warrants plenty of Norris Trophy consideration.

With the halfway point of the NHL schedule this weekend, Bryan McCabe is in front.

"I don't even think about (trophies)," said McCabe, a second team all-star in 2003-04. "I just try and get some wins and improve as a team. Everything else will take care of itself."

McCabe, 30, has had his share of rough times in the NHL, but the open ice this year and glut of power plays has played to his strengths. Then there are moments such as in the Leafs' game against Pittsburgh on Monday, when he was only trying to protect himself from an errant Kyle Wellwood shot and wound up with the overtime winner.

"It's just good to be at the rink, period," he said of his good fortune this season. "Every day's a good day for everyone after all that crap we went through (with the lockout)."

TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGIN'

The Leafs went right from the airport to the rink yesterday, for an hour of practice that ended around 4:30 p.m. Toronto time, with punishing sprints that had a few players muttering in coach Pat Quinn's direction.

"When we saw this road trip was set up the way it was (with three days off before the start), we decided to come a day early and see if we could beat the clock a little bit," Quinn said of the two-hour time difference.

The Leafs will practise at 10 a.m. MST today and play tomorrow night at 7 p.m. MST.

LOOSE LEAFS

The previous time the Leafs were here, McCabe's brother Sean was driving the Zamboni at the Corral, the 9,000-seat arena next to the Saddledome. "He's been promoted," McCabe said proudly. "He's in charge of setting up all the shows in there. He's a bigwig now." ... Calgary coach Darryl Sutter is pleased with the job former Leaf Bryan Marchment has done on defence through 20 games. "Mush has been really good for us," Sutter said. "He knows exactly what his role is and it's not always a role that's on the ice."


Videos

Photos