In his first five games this season, Marian Gaborik had five goals and eight points.
Gaborik only has one point, a goal, in his last seven games while taking 23 shots. Gaborik has also played under 19 minutes in the last three games and is now averaging 19:42 per game.
In seven games at MSG this season, Gaborik has eight of his nine points including all six goals. Three of Gaborik’s goals have broken ties and he has three game winning goals.
Yesterday on The Michael Kay Show, John Tortorella was praising Carl Hagelin and the amount of offense he has been creating and said that Gaborik should look at how Hagelin has been playing, “I think Gabby is struggling a little bit because he isn’t skating. I think Gabby should look at Hags and think ‘that is what I should be doing.” Hags has done some really good things for us.”
Last week, prior to Gaborik scoring in the Rangers win over the Islanders, John Tortorella said that Gaborik was someone who Tortorella thought about benching. Tortorella said that he benched Brian Boyle because the other guys who he wanted to bench have an opportunity to add more to the team on a game by game basis and create offense.
Adam Rotter: Gaborik hasn’t been able to do much since the big line, with Rick Nash and Brad Richards, broke up. It was only a couple of weeks ago when Tortorella was praising Gaborik for becoming a better player, but beyond a few sporadic chances, his game hasn’t been very consistent lately. He seems to love playing the Islanders so he may have a big game tonight, but the Rangers need him and Brad Richards to get their games on track.
In his career against the Islanders, Marian Gaborik has 19 goals and 14 assists in 27 games.
Last season Gaborik had five goals and two assists in the six game series last year.
In his last three games, Marian Gaborik has five goals, three assists and 12 shots.
Following the game winner against Boston on Wednesday, Dave Maloney said on ESPN Radio “there have been a lot of times where people have questioned Gaborik’s will….well tonight, he willed that puck into the net.
After the game on Wednesday, John Tortorella said, “he has changed himself as a player since he came here. He was a perimeter guy when he got here that didn’t want to practice because he was sore. He wasn’t injured. I think he has grown so much mentally in how he conducts himself. He is always on the ice. I bet 80% of his goals last year were 5-7 feet from the net. He is a very talented player that is willing to be there.”
Adam Rotter: Just as he did last year, Gaborik is scoring big goals when the Rangers need him. He has fully bought into the Rangers system and willing to pay the price, in front of the net, on defense, along the boards, to help the Rangers win.
Last night the Rangers had a line featuring Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash.
Richards, Nash and Gaborik combined to score the Rangers first goal and Gaborik ended up with a hat trick.
As Jeff Klein writes in the NY Times, “Coach John Tortorella united his three best forwards — Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash — for the first time, and their spectacular creativity gave the Rangers their first victory of the season, 4-3 in overtime over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. “
Dave Maloney said last night on ESPN Radio, “The plan was to break up Gaborik and Nash, but I don’t think the supporting cast is deep enough to do that. If they can be a factor that puts in 3 of 4 goals every night, I think that works.”
On playing with Richards and Nash, Gaborik said on ESPN Radio “I think it went great. That is what we need to do. Richie slows the game down and Nasher is a force out there. That is how we have to play.”
Dan Girardi told NHL.com “They’re all great players and when they’re clicking that’s a hard line to stop. There are some pretty high-class players on that line. It’s not always going to be perfect, but as long as they’re getting their chances and defending the right way they’ll be pretty good.”
In the NY Times, Jeff Klein describes the play by play that led to the Rangers first goal last night:
Michael Del Zotto sent a laser pass from his own goal line to the center circle. Richards accepted it on his forehand while pivoting, his back to the Bruins’ zone, and without switching to his backhand ushered the puck ahead to the left wing, reducing its speed by half.
Somehow that redirected puck went perfectly to Nash, tearing down the left side. He crossed the puck perfectly to Gaborik, speeding down the right wing, who lifted it over the sprawling Rask. The Rangers had their first lead of the season.
Since scoring 42 goals in 2007-08, Marian Gaborik has always followed up a 40 goal season with an injury ravaged low scoring season.
Gaborik had 13 goals in 2008-09, he missed all but 17 games due to injury, then signed with the Rangers and had 42 goals.
The following season Gaborik missed time with a shoulder injury and concussion and only scored 22 goals in 62 games before playing in all 82 games last season and scoring 41 goals.
Sportsnet says that based on the past, Gaborik is due for a down season and Carp from Rangers Report wonders which Gaborik the Rangers will have this season, “the one who scored 42 goals his first year in New York, the one who scored 22 his second year, or the one who scored 41 last year.”
At the beginning of training camp, John Tortorella was asked about Gaborik and said that he has become a different player than he was when he first came to the Rangers, “I’m not sure I said this last year, but from the first day he came here to now, what he is, he has changed, he’s always on the ice. I remember the first year was like pulling teeth to get him on the ice at certain times to practice. He’s grown mentally. The year he had last year, the playoffs he had last year and going through the injury that he had…he is still growing as a player. He is still growing mentally and I think…he has to be a huge part of it this year.
Adam Rotter: Gaborik was great last season with seven game winners and 20 goals that broke a tie and gave the Rangers the lead. He is a game breaker and no longer the Rangers only offensive threat so the defense can’t just collapse on him. He was healthy all season until the Ottawa series but stayed in the lineup and played a on shoulder that needed major surgery. I see Gaborik breaking his trend and coming up with another big season.
According to Larry Brooks, in the NY Post, John Tortorella has told Marian Gaborik that he wants to see him open the season on the LW instead of his natural spot on RW.
Brooks notes that Gaborik is likely to start on the LW of Derek Stepan with Ryan Callahan on RW.
Gaborik told Brooks that he feels comfortable on the LW and that with Derek Stepan being a righty, his first instinct is to move the puck on his forehand to the left side.
Gaborik did say that the biggest adjustment will come in the defensive zone and on the wall.
In the end, Gaborik said that he will do whatever it takes to make the Rangers a better team, “If moving to the left makes us a more dangerous team, I’m all for it.”
John Tortorella met with the media today and said that Marian Gaborik will be ready when training camp starts up.
Tortorella said “Gabby’s fine. He’s been fine for a while.”
via Katie Strang on twitter
Larry Brooks tweets that Marian Gaborik is the only Ranger that is not currently in North America.
He notes that Gaborik is healthy after shoulder surgery and he will return to NY quickly.