Through five games, Marian Gaborik—not Rick Nash—has been the most efficient offensive force on the Rangers, tallying five goals and three assists. Should that surprise you? Not at all, because all Gaborik has done with the Rangers, when healthy, is produce. Recall his 42-goal first season and 41-goal effort last year and you'll realize Gaborik has cemented himself with this team.
The Nash to Broadway move almost has you forget the Rangers still have a game-changer in Gaborik—a wonderful luxury few teams can afford.
Since being put on a line with Nash and Brad Richards, Gaborik has taken off, notching a hat trick against Boston and scoring two goals against Toronto. A lot of negativity was projected towards Gaborik early this season (some going as far to say he should be traded), but his game has been elevated since being placed on the Rangers' super first line.
Torts sang Gabby's praises recently, talking about how much he's changed and matured since his arrival on Broadway, transforming from a perimeter player to a more well-rounded one.
"I think he has grown so much mentally in how he conducts himself," Tortorella said. "He's a very talented player that's willing to be there; and when I first met him, I didn't think he was willing to be there."
It's no secret the lockout pushing the start of the season to January benefited the team's sniper after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Gaborik was able to rehab and prepare for a season of high expectation and so far is delivering the goods.
While Rick Nash may be viewed as the "missing piece" to the New York Rangers Stanley Cup puzzle, Marian Gaborik is still a vital part of the equation.
Its incredible to see him play. When Nash finally gets into the goal scoring rhythm Im not sure how teams will deal with the rangers, Nash is one of the best players out there as it is and hes hasnt even caught fire yet.
Gaborik was doing it before Nash came on board, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him take his game to another level with defenses focusing on the Rangers offseason acquisition.
Serving time on the top line has been the difference maker for Gaborik and the whole team. How many of Gaby's 5 goals did Nash assist on? When we can count on some secondary scoring, or when Gaby and Nash can be productive when split up, then we'll really be in business. It's great that are top guys are producing, they do it together, and the whole team is going to have to do this together. I think they will.
@AG_Blue Pyatt has 3 goals and we seem to be forgetting that. I think Cally will do his share of scoring and Step will throw a few in. Hags game showed improvements in the last 2 games so I think he's on his way. I think things are going to shape up sooner than later.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG @AG_Blue -- You mean we're forgetting Pyatt's goals when we talk about needing secondary scoring? I think he scored one of his with the top line too. As far as this consistency they're looking for, we need to see it trickle down. Like I said, the whole team is going to have to do this together and I think they will.
@AG_Blue Agreed. I am not expecting our 4th line to do anything this year so if we get something from them it will be a pleasant surprise. But there's no reason our 2nd and 3rd lines shouldn't be able to score. I'm ready for a game tonight! But another day off is going to help the boys get their crap together.