For more post game quotes visit the Rangers Report.
Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has this from Marian Gaborik on whether he was shocked to be benched tonight...
"Yeah," Gaborik said. "Obviously I haven't produced much lately. Obviously, in these types of games, it's a big game. I'm not giving up, I've just got to work harder, just try to get out of it, that's the bottom line. Confidence is a very big part. The last few games, I felt good and we created chances. I think things were happening but it was not going in. It surprised me tonight to get benched. It's the coach's decision, that's the bottom line. I have to produce and help this team win games.
"I've got to score, I've got to score. You definitely want to go out there and prove you should be on the ice."
...i hate to get on the guy after everthing he did for the team last year, but his lack of scoring is really killing the Blueshirts right now. The Rangers have been begging for a big goal lately and he is just no where to be found. It's not like he's not trying but something's got give soon. Right?
I see three general problems with Gabby this year vs. last year.
1. His aim. It hasn't matter if he has been in the Wild, Swedish Elite League, Slovak national team or the Rangers (last season), Gaborik has a unique talent and/or skill in not only being able to launch quick releases, but also shooting with a good aim. A game-winning card for the Rangers, as we saw last year. This season the shots are somewhat there, but the mid-distance aim is off in my opinion. The shots always seem to go towards the middle instead of the top corners...
2. Torts tactics. Torts is doing the opposite with the Rangers from what he did with the Bolts. Down in Tampa he had two strong scoring lines, and the team overall was breathing offense. With the Rangers he is prioritizing defense and grinding, which is smart as he builds the team from the ground. However, demanding that all guys are to chip in when it comes to grinding limits a player like Gabby.
3. Switching line mates. Even if Torts switched lines constantly already last season, Gabby had his buddy in Prospal (main reason for getting him in the first place), who feed him with opening passes and the chemistry was there from the get-go. With Propsal out so far this season it is clear that Torts has tried almost all combinations around Gabby in order to get him flying, with little or no success. It might be that the guys (e.g. Dubinsky) that has surrounded Gabby so far have focused more on adopting Torts tactics than finding Gabby, like Prospal did.
Don't get me wrong, I love Torts and he had all the reasons for sitting Gabby out the other night. However, I am afraid in Gabby's case that it may make the situation even worse. He's a goal scorer and you need to treat those type of players with kid-gloves.
No on the potential trade proposals for Iginla or Regehr. Also no if a Gaborik for Richards (DAL) trade is proposed. Can't Sather fool Rutherford down in Carolina to release Eric Staal for Drury & Redden and then bring in Jordan, to gather all the brothers, from the Pens for...let' say Frolov.
I dont see how he is surprised he was benched. He hasn't been playing well enough, and if he isn't going to produce he shouldnt play. Dont get me wrong, I like Gabby, but the last thing we need right now is another high cost player not producing, while our 1 mil players try to pick up the slack. I also have to disagree with your postgame Kev, benching him is the right way to go. I hate having to say it, but if Gabby cant be benched because it makes him play worse or gives him less confidence, I dont want him as part of the organizaton, especially with the team mentality torts is trying to give them all. Hopefully he picks his game up though, because last years Gaborik is exactley what the team needs right now.
@skev303 I'd have to disagree. That would be the typical early 2000s move that would never work out.