Friday, August 12, 2011
Even the best players are subject to down years over the course of their career and that certainly was the case for Marian Gaborik last season. At NHL.com, John Kreiser expects that to change for the 2011-12 season as he has Gaborik amongst ten players to be candidates for a bounce back season.
Marian Gaborik, Rangers -- Gaborik dropped from 42 goals in his first season in the Big Apple to 22 -- and even that wasn't as good as it seemed because 10 came in three games against non-playoff teams. Gaborik is healthy after missing 20 games last season, and the Rangers have brought in playmaker Brad Richards to get him the puck. Barring injuries, there's no reason the two-time 42-goal scorer shouldn't have another big year.
The combination of injuries, subpar line mates that were constantly juggled and his own lack of aggressiveness on the ice saw Gaborik drop from 42 goals and 44 assists in his first season with New York to only 48 points in 62 games last year. The addition of Richards and hopefully health should see Gaborik change the numbers from last season, but there is still the need for Gaborik to put in the work himself. His biggest issue last year was that he did not consistently skate the way he is capable. Gaborik is one of the truly elite skaters in the league and it is that skating which puts him in positions to score goals on the rush, finding holes in the defense or getting “vulture” goals in scrambles around the net. Brad Richards will certainly make Gaborik’s job easier with the attention he will draw, but to get back to the elite offensive level as a sniper, Gaborik will have to just as much work helping himself and Richards create his chances.
Posted by Michael Gleich at 9:20 AM