If anyone missed it, Brooks latest article in the post is about letting Gaborik be Gaborik. I feel like Brooks has been reading my internet posts (I post on other various sites aside this). The article is EXACTLY what I have been saying for most of the season. Let Gaborik play Gaborik's game. You do not sign an elite sniper to a $7.5 million dollar contract and then tell him to play like Brandon Prust. He is not a grinder. You cannot expect him to pot 40 goals when you essentially tell him to "dumb down his game" and play like one. He is an open ice, finesse player. His greatest asset is his speed, not getting dirty in the corners and potting garbage goals.
Another thing Brooks touches on is how Gaborik has made zero excuses for this season, which is again, spot on. When has Gaborik ever not done something that has been asked of him? Has he complained once? at all? Has he blamed it on his injuries? has he blamed it on his lack of consistent linemates?
Last year, he had Prospal and Del Zotto for most of the season. None of the three have played so much as 2 or 3 games together all this year.
Honestly? Gaborik's stats this season might be more impressive than last year considering this.
Here is Brooks' article in the Post (and Puck Daddy also touches on it and suggests getting Gaborik, who else? Brad Richards)
"Everyone recognizes that the Rangers' relentless work ethic carried them through the first four months of the season when opponents perhaps more skilled failed to match their commitment. Everyone admires the way this group of athletes sacrificed their bodies night after night after night.
Darn right, You've Got to Have Heart, and the Rangers have miles and miles of it, but even the Washington Senators of "Damn Yankees" needed the splendiferous and fictitious Joe Hardy to win them a pennant.
We're not suggesting that Tortorella is a Mr. Applegate, but the coach has to be willing to give Gaborik not only the minutes he needs to thrive, but the support he needs to play his game, the one he played last year when he scored 42 goals, and not Brandon Prust's game or Brandon Dubinsky's game.
Wednesday morning, even in praising Gaborik's performance against the Flyers, Tortorella made a reference to "grinding." There were no such references last year when Gaborik finished fifth in the league in goal scoring.
We get it. Gaborik has the same responsibility to compete as every one of his teammates. But we can tell you that dynastic Islanders' coach Al Arbour never once called for Mike Bossy to be a grinder in the mold of teammates Clark Gillies, John Tonelli, Bob Nystrom and Duane Sutter. Are you kidding?
Gaborik hasn't made so much as a single excuse through this miserable season in which he suffered a separated shoulder in the first week of the season. Michael Del Zotto, who delivered a series of home-run passes to spring Gaborik last season, crashed and burned. The Rangers haven't had a steady complementary center for him all year."