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Gaborik a fit on suddenly high-scoring Kings

Jun 4, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Four Getty Images

Those big trade deadline deals. They can put a contending team over the top. They can also be nothing but a bust.

Put Marian Gaborik into the first category. Although, one opponent remains, as the L.A. Kings prepare to face the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final, with Game 1 going Wednesday.

Gaborik, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline in March, leads all NHL players in these playoffs with 12 goals, including three in the final four games in the Western Conference Final against Chicago. He also hasn’t been a liability in the defensive end of the ice. In fact, he’s been solid in that department, too.

And the Kings, even after finishing 26th in league scoring during the regular season, have been lighting it up in these playoffs, averaging a league-best 3.48 goals per game.

The plan to bring in a forward that could help the Kings in the scoring department began long before the deadline.

“This is something (head coach Darryl Sutter) and I had talked about last summer. We were always a top defensive team,” Kings general manager Dean Lombardi told reporters on Tuesday.

“You want to be able to do both, but you never want to lose that hallmark of what our success has been in being a good defensive team that’s hard to play against.

“It had to be a player that most important fit, that gave us an element, that was willing hopefully to buy into what it takes to play here.

“But the thing, too, with the timing, it’s the fit of the player, what type of character he has, but also the timing of when you bring in a player of that caliber. Certain things have to be established for a franchise before you do something like that.”

  1. 950003cups - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    I will NOT be a happy camper if those bums from 8th Ave win a single game. Must be a sweep! No excuses!

    • hrudey - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Bah, if the Kings get to four wins in the series it’s all I care about. Expecting and demanding to sweep a team as good as the Rangers is absurd – it could happen, but nobody should expect it to happen.

    • clarke16 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      No talk with mouth full, dumb dumb. You finish bowl rice. We work on happy after smarter. Smarter more important.

  2. blomfeld - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:46 AM

    MARIAN GABORIK = RINGO STARR !!! :)

    Though I’m likely younger (and no doubt sexier) than many of you ‘aged’ PHT’ers out there, I am nonetheless aware of the ‘controversy’ which surrounded the replacement of original Beatle’s drummer Pete Best by Ringo Starr back in ’62. As it was, Ringo turned out to be the ‘final’ integral part which allowed the Beatles to go on and achieve ‘immortal’ greatness. And in that vein friends, I contend that a legitimate argument can now be made today that Gaborik is for us Kings, what Ringo was to the Beatles. You just gotta love it man ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. nj666 - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Gaborik> nash

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