Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that despite Marian Gaborik scoring 41 goals on right wing last year, his natural position, John Tortorella will be moving his Solvakian sniper to left wing in camp.
Here's Gaborik on the move...
“Torts [coach John Tortorella] told me that’s where he’d like to see me, so I’m going to prepare and practice at left wing," Gaborik said. "There’s definitely going to be an adjustment, especially in our own zone and with wall play, so I’ll work on that whenever I get the chance.
“I like shooting from the left side. I feel very comfortable with my shot from [the left wing circle], so that could be an advantage."
Gaborik, a left-hand shot, has played the left side for Slovakia in the Olympics.
Brooks adds that if Tortorella likes enough of what he sees from Gaborik this week he'll likely open the season on a line with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan while Brad Richards would center Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash.
...sure, move your 40 goal scorer out of his natural position so he can play on the second line. Makes sense. (eye roll)
...i mean, there's plenty of preseason games for Gaborik to get comfortable on the left wing so the transition should be easy. (double eye roll)
...i could see if he was being moved so he could play on a line with Richards and Nash, but not sure I like messing with success. Unless this is just Torts wanting Gaborik to get acclimated to the left wing on a lower line in anticipation of a move to the top spot. We'll see.
He's a natural born sniper. His ridiculously quick release isn't dependent on what wing he's on. No problemo.
I guess it makes him more versitile with the amount of line changing that will happen. Ie where cally, gabbi, step, krieder, hags and even nash and richie will end up
playing the off wing allows a player moving down that lane to cut laterally to the middle of the ice and either shoot or pass with more options because they are already on their forehand. Gaborik's ability to change gears quickly and rip a lethal shot has been proven from the right side and we'll see if he gets shut down more easily from the left side.
I get frustrated with torts' constantly shifting lines as much as the next guy but c'mon the season hasn't even started - lets give him some slack here! torts has proven to me that he's a good coach - let's see what he can do with half a season!
@chrisD This new move to left wing isn't putting Gaborik on the off wing because he already shoots left. He's been playing off wing as a right winger shooting left. At any rate, as AnnoyingJoe said, he's a natural born sniper — pretty much doesn't matter where he is.
It's about making the team more potent. Giving teams different looks. Being unpredictable. U cannot stack your lines in this league without balance below. If you are a winger you should be able to play both sides just like a natural center can play all forward positions. He is an NHL professional and world class talent this should not be a problem for him.
I like the move. Rangers are pretty thin at left wing so if Gabby can flourish it really opens up a lot. Kreider's a leftie left wing as well. Most of the top left wings in the league are lefties as well.
These lines make a lot of sense. Gaborik and Richards don't work together, both their games are designed on carrying the puck through the neutral zone, and having them separated with players of a different skill set will work in their favor. Gaborik will cut up the left side and rip a shot for Cally to get the rebound, creating problems down low, while Richards will carry it up the middle and dump it down low or dish it off to Nash for a one timer. These lines make a lot of sense, I wonder how Hagelin/Stepan will key in on their respective lines, but they can make it work by grinding it out down low. Nice balance on both lines.
Wouldn't it make more sense to put Callahan on the left-wing this way he and Gaborik can shoot off of the pass?
I actually really like the move. It's not like it has to be permanent and if it doesn't work its an easy fix, but I think Gabby, at least offensively, will be fine on the left. I also really like him playing with Cally and Step (what a 2nd line!) and having Hags, Richards and Nash on the first line. My ideal lines.
He's a left hand shot so we'll see. Who knows, maybe his production will go up. I think Step will be looking for him more on the left too.
I think it will be ok. But Torts better not kill him when he makes a defensive zone mistake because he's not used to the read. I am a big fan of playing the wing of your handedness. We'll see.