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Can Marian Gaborik get it back together?

Apr 26, 2012, 10:15 PM EDT

gabbyandersongetty Getty Images

There are probably a lot of emotions flowing through the New York Rangers locker room right now, but one of the definite ones must be “relief.” Yet of all the players, Marian Gaborik might be the most grateful to wave goodbye to the pesky Ottawa Senators after a 2-1 Game 7 victory and 4-3 series win.

In seven games, Gaborik scored one goal and two assists for three points and a -1 rating. Those aren’t outright disastrous numbers, but for a guy who carries a $7.5 million cap hit – not to mention some of the most dazzling wheels and dangerous hands in the NHL – it’s worrisome. If the Rangers were booted tonight, he might have been fitted with the largest goat horns.

The most troubling part might not be his production. Instead, it might be the lack of assertiveness. After firing 276 shots on goal this season (about 3.37 per game), he averaged less than two shots per game in the first round (13 in seven contests). Shots on goal aren’t meant to be a Bible of confidence, yet it provides a window into a sniper’s soul more often than not.

So, the question is: can he get it together?

Looking at his split stats against the Capitals from the regular season, it doesn’t seem like a guarantee. He only managed a single goal and zero assists in four contests against Washington in 2010-11.

Much like the first seven games of the playoffs, that’s a small sample size, though. Gaborik knows as much as anyone that puck luck can be at its cruelest in the postseason. He’ll get a clean slate just like everyone else when that semifinals series starts and if he runs with it, the Rangers will be that much tougher to beat.

Do you think he’ll do it, though?

  1. treydogg97 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Not surprising. Reminds me of when the Wild were in the playoffs (remember that, anyone…?) and Gaborik was rendered useless, even on a line with his buddy Demitra (RIP). Seems like some players just can’t adjust to the intensity, physicality, etc, of the playoffs while some flourish (Claude Lemieux)

    Or maybe he’s afraid of shattering the glass groin…

  2. stakex - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    The problem with Gaborik is if hes being played the least bit hard, hes useless. If he doesn’t have a break away, or the puck isn’t finding for an open shot… he might as well not be on the ice. Perhaps he might find more space against Washington, but I doubt it.

  3. brian32556 - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Gabby will be okay. He took a few bumps at the end of the season and during the series that slowed him down a touch, but as he’s shown all year, he’ll be there when we really need him!

  4. chasemutley - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    He’ll certainly have his chances against Washington; they gave up a bunch of shots that series.

  5. barkar942 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Three more games with Hagelin probably would have helped.

  6. mrpigs - Apr 27, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    I agree barkar. Hags speed and puck chasing really opens up the ice so hopefully gabby will take advantage.

  7. lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 28, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    You guys think this is something new? Gabby did jack s*** for the Wild in the playoffs. What makes anyone think he’ll do anything different here? He has no team mentality, and if I’ve learned anything from watching playoff hockey, you can’t win on your own.

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