AnalysisState of the Rangers

Marian Gaborik; 100 point player?

The Hockey Suit and I occasionally disagree. We’re both pretty opinionated so this won’t come as a shock to anyone! However there’s one thing that we certainly disagree on and that’s the fact that apparently a Ranger won’t come close to 100 points this coming season. Some may notice that I’m a glass half full kind of guy. They won’t get two 100 point guys in one year (very rare) but the Rangers have two players that CAN reach the magical number.

Brad Richards has come close twice before (career high of 91 points set twice) and this season he may have his strongest supporting cast. I am fully aware that one of his previous supporting casts has, with him at the center, won the Cup but that Tampa Bay side may have been the most top heavy club to have ever won the cup. This Rangers side should be blessed with depth and depending on your point of view that may help or hinder a player reaching a lofty mark such as 100 points.

Richards isn’t alone in NY as an elite scorer nor is he the focus of this post. I truly believe Marian Gaborik has a chance at 100 points. Of course this all comes with the usual words of caution as is customary with Gaborik. A lot of people are wondering if Gaborik can/will have a comeback season after last year’s ugly year. recently wrote about him and Mike at Bleeding All Blue discussed it too. I’m not alone here. What I’m doing is taking it one step further.

Marian Gaborik needs to stay healthy; he needs to go to the dangerous areas of the ice (aka not the periphery), he must be willing to work hard and above all must be willing to get his shot off at every opportunity. His shot is lethal and he has often seemingly forgotten that. Entering this season Gaborik has never benefited from such an elite center as Brad Richards. He has never played on a team that (for now, on paper) promises to be as deep and with as much upside as the Rangers could be. In my opinion if Gaborik is healthy he will have a career year. If he has a career year he’s automatically close to 100 points.

A key note regarding my use of the term periphery; one thing Suit has himself brought up (correctly) is that last season Gaborik carried the puck far too much. It caused him to be forced wide and also meant he was unable to get in position to unleash his shot. He was forced to the periphery because of the absence of a playmaker, a man to garner attention and who has the ability to get Gaborik the puck regardless. The Rangers certainly have that man in Richards now.

Gaborik can score in bunches. He can score heavily, consistently and we’ve seen him fill the net for both the Rangers and the Wild. Last year he feasted on a handful of teams while in 09-10 – during Gaborik’s great debut year on Broadway – the Slovak went on scoring binges. During a late November stretch he grabbed 6 goals in 4 games and had many similar patches throughout the season but most importantly he never had a period where he went more than 5 games without a goal. Consistent stuff.

Gaborik when healthy has always been consistent without elite support. In 09-10 Gaborik didn’t have a Brad Richards type giving him the puck and considering the left wing spot this year could be Brandon Dubinsky, he didn’t have a player as developed as Dubinsky will be this coming season either; another player taking attention away from Gaborik allowing extra space on the ice. Dubinsky on the left? It makes for an excellent top line.

I am fully aware that reaching 100 points is an elite level. Not many players do it. Yet, let’s not talk our star winger down too much shall we? Not many players in the entire league have Gaborik’s shot or his skating ability. It all comes down to health and how the Rangers start the year during a tricky stretches of travel. 100 points is well within reach for a player of Gaborik’s quality. Here’s hoping the Suit is wrong and Gaborik gets the milestone. Just some food for thought on a quiet Saturday.

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  • Hold your breath but if he plays all 82 games he has a chance. I still think if he does play all 82 he’ll get over 90 points but clipping over 100 is tough to do these days. If he averaged over a point per game i’d be fine also.

  • If Gaborik plays 75 games and score 75 points it will be a sucsessfull season for him.
    Wolski should be the other wing to start and see what he can do. Dubi.belongs wath Cali. and Anisimov.They were good tegether last year.

  • Haha I actually agree with your points, just not the fact Gabby and BR will clear 100…80-85 sounds more like it. Maybe if they had a 30+ goal scorer on their left wing…

    I hope I’m wrong and if I am, beers on me!

  • The Suit,you should have made the offer for the beer last week.I was in the NY.area but now i’m back in South Carolina where i live now.(what a bummer.)It is a little too far to travel for a few brewski’s but thanks for the offer.

  • If we get 75 points each from MG, & BR, well that would be a wonderful year. I may be nuts, but I believe that WW will have a terrific year as the left wing with Gabby, and Richards.

    Let’s not forget that he is in the last year of his current contract, and is playing for a potential big pay day for himself. Again I may be nuts, but I feel very strongly about that being the case!!!!!

  • As I said in that disagreement, post-lockout, only Thornton has hit 100 with less than 29 goals (a total BR has never hit), and no one has done it with fewer than 49 assists (a total Gaborik has never hit, even adjusting his injury years to 82 games).

    100 is seriously lofty these days. Some of the best players in the league only get to 75-80 right now.

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