New York Rangers Analysis: Marian Gaborik Due For Bounce-Back Season
Marian Gaborik hit an all-time time low in goals and points this past season. While 22 goals and 48 points isn't horrible, it is definitely un-like Marian Gaborik. Gabby is definitely in store for a bounce-back season in the upcoming 2011-2012 season.
Of course as many people have stated before, Marian's game becomes that much better with the addition of Brad Richards. Last season, Gaborik never had a consistent centerman for him to gain solid chemistry with. As it looks right now, Richards will be centering Gaborik with either Wolski or another forward on the wing. This line has potential written from head to toe. There is almost no chance of breaking up the pairing of Gaborik and Richards, which could substantially improve chemistry within the line; take the Callahan, Anisimov and Dubinsky line for example.
As we saw in his first season with the Rangers, when Gabby has the open ice, he will make it count. Ever since that season, Gaborik never found those important open areas of the ice. I can't stress enough that Richards will open up the ice for Gaborik, not only with his hockey senses, but also being an elite threat. Defenders always keyed on Gaborik because he was the major threat with an incredible shot, when given the room. With Richards, defensemen now will have two elite players to keep tabs on, which almost automatically opens either one of them on the ice.
Gaborik was also faced with several injuries during the 2010-2011 season. Gaborik went out in October with a separated shoulder, and later on that season he missed six games due to a concussion. Gaborik apparently played with the concussion for a couple games, which definitely affected his game. When Gaborik returned, you could easily tell he had the extra step back in his game.
If healthy, there is no reason why Gaborik won't have another breakout year in New York. It was an off year, which every player has here and there. Gaborik will be back full force next season, mark my word.