Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gaborik Responds To Benching With Four Goals Leading 7-0 Drubbing of Leafs

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
All the talk the past few days around the New York Rangers has been about the offense that has disappeared and the star who has not been scoring.  That discussion was compounded before the game when the team’s leading scorer Brandon Dubinsky was announced to be out for the next 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture in his leg.  Apparently Marian Gaborik was tired of the conversation about the offense and himself, so he went out explodes for four goals to end all the talk.  Those four goals would pace the Rangers on their way to a 7-0 shellacking of Toronto.  Even if it only lasts for one night this was exactly the cathartic breakout the team and fans needed.
Gaborik would get it started at 10:55 of the first when he would take a brilliant feed from Sean Avery and instead of just firing the puck he outwaited Gustavsson and stickhandles around him tucking the puck inside the post.  Once he got his first in nine games you had the sense that there would be no denying him the rest of the night.  The second one came at 13:21 where Gaborik would stuff in a beautiful pass from Artem Anisimov after great work along the boards.  The only thing that interrupted those two goals by Gaborik was Brian Boyle chipping in with a deflection of a Marc Staal point shot on the power play.  All told the Rangers would net three goals in 2:26 chasing Gustavsson from the net.
In game J.S. Giguere and with the mood the Rangers were in he was not greeted very warmly when he gave up a bad goal to Ruslan Fedotenko through the five-hole on a shot from the slot. 
Due to Giguere wanting to play tomorrow against his former club and his sore groin they would put Gustavsson back in for the second and it would be the same as before.  Gaborik would continue in the second period again from Anisimov and Avery where he would fire the puck from a sharp angle and have it squeeze through Gustavsson at 11:16 of the second and then he would flash his world class wrist shot on his final tally of the night, from the slot, at 14:44. 
Mats Zuccarello would combine with Derek Stepan on a beautiful passing play early in the third to cap off the great night.
Oh yea, and that Lundqvist guy got his seventh shutout of the season too.  Heck of a night, now they have to repeat the effort tomorrow at Carolina.
  • The difference for Gaborik tonight was where he was on the ice.  The first two goals and even the final goal were in areas that he has not been consistently going.  Go to the net and you will be rewarded
  • Obviously Gaborik is the story of the game but do not overlook the four assists for Artem Anisimov and three for Sean Avery.
  • Wojtek Wolski chipped in with two assists
  • Best stat of the night for me is Ryan McDonagh playing 21:21 with a +3 allowing Marc Staal to only play 17:27 and rest up for his brother tomorrow.
  • Do not lose sight of how huge the two early penalty kills were to this game.
  • The only negative is Ruslan Fedotenko getting injured and being out 2-4 weeks with a second degree A/C sprain in the shoulder.
  • With the injury to Dubinsky Chad Kolarik was called up during the game
  • With the injury to Fedotenko the decision was made after the game to call on Brodie Dupont