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Tough losses happen, and it isn’t anyone’s fault, including Gaborik’s

The amount of hatred throw at Marian Gaborik for the Rangers loss last night, or for any loss in general, is frighteningly disturbing. I understand the need to have a scapegoat for a loss, but picking on someone who had an assist in the game and was nowhere near invisible is just irrational. The guy isn’t Wojtek Wolski. He’s not Erik Christensen. He’s not invisible out there.

Gaborik, in fact, is second on the team in scoring in the playoffs, with five points (1-4-5) in nine games thus far. Only Brad Richards has more points than him. It would be nice if he shot the puck a bit more (just 16 shots on goal so far), but that’s not a measure of how well he’s playing.

Gaborik is in fact creating offensive plays, finding open ice, and giving his teammates opportunities to score. Look at last night’s goal by Richards for an example of what Gaborik is doing to create offense for the team. As Suit pointed out, Gaborik found the open ice after blown coverage and a bad change by Brooks Laich. After getting the puck, he feathered a perfect pass to Richards for a tap-in goal.

Some point to Gaborik’s one goal as a reason why he is a good scapegoat. And yes, his one goal on 16 shots is troubling, especially when he is being paid to put the puck in the net. But he is also being paid to create offense. That is something he has been doing. If you are going to argue that Gaborik isn’t pulling his weight offensively, then you can make the same argument for half the roster.

Singling out Gaborik appears to be just irrational scapegoating after a tough loss where the Rangers had several chances to tie the game. Braden Holtby made a pair of magnificent saves on Chris Kreider. One of those saves directly led to a goal. So is it Kreider’s fault that the Caps capitalized on the counter rush? Do we blame him?

Carl Hagelin has one point while playing with Richards and Gaborik, but he seems to get a pass from everyone. While Hagelin’s puck possession metrics are great, he needs to finish as well. This is a team. Scapegoating one player because of his star status is a bit irrational. They win as a team, they lose as a team.

36 Responses to “Tough losses happen, and it isn’t anyone’s fault, including Gaborik’s”

  1. evan says:

    Bottom line, you cannot win in the playoffs giving up soft goals and we allowed 2 last night. This allowed outside factors besides our play to influence the game and we got bit on a clear dive by carlson.

    On a positive note, i honestly felt that was the most complete game of the playoffs for the rangers. We utterly dominated after going down 2-0 and I have never seen the team unload that many shots from the point. For the first time all post-season, i fully expected them to score on the PP in the third period due to the fact they were unloading shots. On a different night we may have scored 3 or 4 from the point, but that is sports.

    Final point, is torts really trying to say that Bickel is better and safer on defense then eminger? Eminger prior to the shoulder injury was awesome. Id trust eminger with 8 minutes of ice time over bickel for 4 just to give our top 5 D a rest at some point.

    Anyway, this team knows how to rebound from tough losses. We have done it all year. No excuses by anyone in the post-game, which i like to hear or i guess not hear. Forget about the loss and go beat them in their building.

    • Billrabatin says:

      What good are point shots when half miss the net and no one is screening the goalie…We have to have more presence in front of the net.

  2. becky says:

    Not worried at all. No one should be scapegoated. They gave up a few bad chances and the Caps scored on them. The Rangers are the better team and I have no doubt they’ll win one (if not both) in Wash.

  3. Tim says:

    Great post. Memo to fellow Ranger fans: we’re trying to win a cup here, lets not tear down the house our guys are trying to build. I wish Gaborik would just break free and bury one, but he’s one guy on a team of 20+, so lets just stay behind them all and trust that if they keep playing like they did after they fell behind 2-0 then there’ll be plenty of room for heroics by everyone on the roster…

  4. Chris F says:

    It’s Dubinsky’s fault we lost!

    • Jackson says:

      Don’t you mean “Dumbinsky”?

      • VinceR says:

        For God’s sake Jackson, don’t invoke the curse that summons the Tux!

        • Chris F says:

          Oh, how I would love to see Duby do something special… OT winner. Hat Trick. Something to shut up the Duby-hatin’ automatons.

  5. VinceR says:

    Agreed..not only did Gabby throw a great assist, but he actually created the goal too by pulling Holtby over with a great fake shot right before the pass.

    In the Ottawa series, I have to say I didn’t think he was playing well at all. Even his skating looked sluggish until the second half of game 6 and all of game 7…I felt that is the point where his play picked up again.

    And like becky above, I really am not worried. Last night was played terrifically and sometimes you just have a tough loss. I’d rather have a flukyish loss that can be explained and prevented then just be lucky to be in a series because of a goal tender bailing you out time and time again.

    In fact it reminds me of the 2009 series vs. the Caps, but the roles are reversed. I’ll take that any day (except we can skip the part with John Scott playing the role of Donald Brashear).

  6. Steve D says:

    Good points on Gabby.

    Bottom line is Gabby is feeling the pressure, you see him playing harder to the puck and throwing his body around to keep the puck int he offensive zone. He was not doing this all the time in the Senator series.

    Good things will happen with that type of effort.

    Other game notes:
    – McD is a beast out there – we need more one timers from him. The shot that hit the post was very close.
    – That was a very soft penalty called on Richards in the offensive zone and cost us the game
    – Hank should never touch the puck when the other team is anywhere near him – period.
    – Shemara needs a beat down from someone – Rupp – do something – not Prust

    • Chris F says:

      “Hank should never touch the puck when the other team is anywhere near him – period.”

      Indeed!

      • VinceR says:

        Consider this ^^^^^^ thirded.

        • Chris F says:

          I hate to rag on Hank. I really do.

          But this single facet of his game has simply never developed. He always just hurls the puck forward up around the boards, even when there is a defenseman coming right up behind him who could have taken the puck. When he cycles the puck forward like that, alot of time the opposing forwards entering the zone have an opportunity to pounce on it, or at least pressure whichever Ranger is receiving the puck, forcing bad passes and turnovers.

          I wonder if the coaching staff specifically doesn’t want Hank to make a judgment call on these plays, and just tell him to consistently cycle the puck up the boards. Because he doesn’t even appear to check to see if there is an opportunity to leave the puck behind for a defenseman.

          • Seahorse says:

            just tell him to stay in net. id rather see him take on 5 breakaways then attempt to handle the puck

          • JW says:

            Problem with this logic is you put too much pressure on your defense if your goalie doesn’t play pucks. Sure, Henrik needs to be better at this aspect of the game, but what happened last night was a fluke. I mean how many goals have been scored this season because Hank misplayed the puck?

  7. Rickyrants13 says:

    So lets see here We can say Dubi is making too much money for what he gives us. And we can blame everyone else on the team when they screw up. But we cant blame our 7 million dollar guy somewhat when he isnt doing his 7 miilion dollars worth.

    Is Gaby the reason why we lost? NO HE ISNT. But when your being paid 7 mill You have to do way more then 1 goal in 9 games. WAY MORE…

    • VinceR says:

      Aside from the various comments that were covered on his play away from the puck, just wanted to quote something that was in the article:

      “Gaborik, in fact, is second on the team in scoring in the playoffs, with five points (1-4-5) in nine games thus far.”

      It can’t always be goals.

      • evan says:

        Yea and gaborik for 7 million did absolutely nothing this year to contribute to us getting to first in the east. oh wait…

        • Rickyrants13 says:

          Geat players dont get a pass just because they get you too the playoffs He needs to pick up his game Plain and simple the job isnt done. 5 points is nice but its not great. WE NEED MORE

          • Walt says:

            Every one has their say, this guy was bad, that guy is over paid, this guy is getting a ride, this guy is coasting!

            I don’t know how many of you critics have played the game, and or any other sprot for that matter, but sometimes the other teams are defending better than you give credit for. Bottom, people have to bitch, they get off on it, so if that is what rocks your boat, have at it. I personally have played the game, and other sports, and will give credit where it’s due. I’m sick and tired of these people buusting on someone, just to be heard! At the end of the day, it’s all bull shit.

  8. Leatherneckinlv says:

    We played a great game and lost. I am not worried at all. The Rangers have continuously demonstrated to us that they rebound well and handle adversity well. Gaborik has played well and far from invisible. The team will be move forward.
    I am in agreement on Bickel that it is time to play Eminger on “D”. I really like Bickel and I think watching a game or two will bode well for the lad.
    Dubinsky’s return, I would sit either Rupp or Anisimov.
    A player that has really steped up with little fanfare is Feds. He is doing the little things that only true hockey fans will appreciate.

  9. Chris F says:

    Looks like the Devils will pull it out without Kory.

    • Chris F says:

      That would be *Kovy naturally. Apparently my phone is more familiar with new-age American name renditions than it is the phantom Russian.

  10. rob sahm says:

    i really cant see this team winning a cup this year with there top scorer not scoring . there is just so much team defense and hank standing on his head to will this team to victories . i hope im dead wrong lets go rangers

    • Steve D says:

      I think the Rangers can get to the cup, not sure if they can beat the west team, but they can certainly beat the Caps and whoever wins between Flygirls and the Kovy less Devils. For sure. Let’s get there and find out!

  11. Vince R says:

    SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  12. evan says:

    TO ALL YOU GABORIK HATERS. MY GOD THAT FELT GOOD.

    Hearing you guys protect a guy like dubinsky who has done NOTHING for this team this year.

    VINCE R SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH is right