NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: (L-R) Brad Richards #19, Marian Gaborik #10 and Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrate after Gaborik scored a goal in the second period against the Ottawa Senators in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Every since the New York Rangers season ended thanks to an overtime goal by Adam Henrique, some people have been furious with Marian Gaborik. Despite a brilliant bounce-back season in which he scored 41 goals and lead the Rangers in points in the regular season -- not to mention the fact that he was the Rangers third highest scorer in the playoffs with a torn rotator cuff -- people were still upset.
So in order to clear the air, let's go over a few myths surrounding Marian Gaborik:
Myth: Gaborik is an impact player, but only when he is healthy. He hasn't been healthy for the Rangers.
Reality: Gaborik has been quite healthy. Since joining the Rangers, he's played 220 of a possible 246 games over the three year span. That's an average of 73.3 games a season. Here's another fact for you: Of the 26 games that he missed, 20 of them came last season when he separated his shoulder. He played in all 82 games this season, and 76 games his first year on Broadway. Here's one more for you: Gaborik has missed just a single game due to a groin injury (what plagued him the most before he left the Minnesota Wild).
Join me after the jump for more.
Myth: Marian Gaborik isn't an impact player.
Reality: Gaborik is an astoundingly lethal goal-scorer in the NHL. Looking at his numbers with the Rangers tells the same story. In three years he's scored 210 points (in 220 games) and 105 goals. In 25 playoff games he only has 13 points, which isn't spectacular. Here's my two reasons for this. He scored just two points in five games two years ago (his slumping season) and was injured through 90% of these playoffs. Either way, you can't argue that he's not an impact player. And, more to the point, even injured Gaborik managed to score some huge goals -- highlighted by his triple-overtime winner against Washington.
Myth: The Rangers would be fine without Gaborik.
Reality: The Rangers' offense would be lost (repeat: lost) without him. Let's just look at last year. The Rangers scored a total of 222 goals this season. Gaborik had a hand in 76 of them. That means that Gaborik either scored or set up 34% of the Rangers' goals and directly scored 18% of the Rangers' goals. Just to put that in perspective, the next closest player in terms of points (Brad Richards) had a hand in 29% of the Rangers' goals. Callahan had the next highest percentage of goals directly scored (13%). Where are you going to replace that offense? And where are you going to replace the mentality he creates for the opposing team's defenders, giving his teammates space? He also scored seven game-winning goals. I'll say it again: The Rangers would be lost without him.
As for the playoff figures? Gaborik had a hand in 25% of the Rangers' goals and directly scored more than 11% of them. The highest goal percentage on the team in the playoffs? Richards with over 13%. Again, even injured, he made an impact.
So, in closing, the Rangers can't afford to lose Gaborik. They aren't a better team without him. They can't just toss him out the window. They need him. And he hasn't given you a single reason to doubt him. So why don't we appreciate the man for what he's done?
He deserves it.