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Fataldogg 03-25-2011 12:09 PM

Gaborik's Role On The Team
 
Is it just me, or has Gaborik's role on this team been minimized?

I love Callahan, and I love Dubinsky, but there is no way that you can argue that Gaborik ISN'T our best offensive forward. We signed him at $7.5 million for a reason. To be an elite sniper. Even at his weakest, he is the most dangerous threat on the ice. There is a reason that, despite Callahan and Dubinsky playing well, the other team matches up their top pair of defense men to Gaborik. Even in a mediocre year, he has 22-goals, second on the team, and will probably lead the team in goals by the end of the season.

He has been more productive lately, scoring goals in 5 of his last 10 games w/ a total of 6-goals. He's been an impact player, scoring important goals (tying goal against Pittsburgh on the PP). Heck, his entire line has been (Prospal / Christiensen have been on fire). So, my question is, what's going on with Gaborik's ice time? Yesterday, he doesn't see any ice time for a full 2-minute PP? Like... Really Tortorella?

Gaborik is playing 14-16 minutes a game, on average (more or less) since returning from his injury despite being extremely productive. Yet, when most games are on the line, he'll put out Boyle, Prust, Fedotenko, Stepan, Dubinsky, etc. There is absolutely zero reason that Callahan and Dubinsky get 3-4 minutes a night, over our franchise forward (you can argue that they're our "future" and our "franchise" players, but until Gaborik is moved or his contract expires, he is our marquee player). You can argue that comes from the PK, which might be true. But there is absolutely no reason that Boyle / Prust should be getting as much time or more time than Gaborik!

When the game is on the line Gaborik has to be our go to guy. Tortorella, and I think we as the fans, have to realize that if we are to go anywhere in the playoffs Gaborik will have to be our best player (besides Lundqvist). He HAS to be. We signed him as our franchise player and we've knocked him down to the 4th or 5th rung on this team. Tortorella needs to put a sense of confidence in Gaborik, giving him his 20-minutes a game, and see what he can do with it. Because, like I said, unless he is our game breaker in the playoffs, and unless we can make him feel that way, we won't be going very far. Prust and Boyle (and I like both of them too) just cannot be our go to guys.

hpNYR 03-25-2011 12:16 PM

Torts' needs to use Gaborik more. He used to be used on the PK for a while last season and did fine. We don't see that any more. Torts' needs to find a way to give Gaborik some confidence. He's sensitive both physically and it seems emotionally. Luckily he's a tremendous talent to have these sensitivities minimize his ENTIRE game.

Valverde 03-25-2011 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hpNYR (Post 31901833)
Torts' needs to use Gaborik more. He used to be used on the PK for a while last season and did fine. We don't see that any more. Torts' needs to find a way to give Gaborik some confidence. He's sensitive both physically and it seems emotionally. Luckily he's a tremendous talent to have these sensitivities minimize his ENTIRE game.


I think it's just a matter of time until Gabby plays as well as we know he can, he's been decent since early March. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the playoffs, he was a beast for Minny in the post-season. Plus, there's always next year... ;)

Vito Andolini 03-25-2011 12:26 PM

I think Torts would love to play Gaborik more, but one look at that defensive effort last night which led to the goal in a 0-0 game, and it's not hard to understand why his icetime gets limited.

He's been playing better lately...but lets face it, his line is no power house. He's a good sniper but not exactly the kind of player you want out there at all times.

ThisYearsModel 03-25-2011 12:29 PM

You are not a REAL coach unless you can turn an elite sniper into a grinder along the boards. Quote from the Book of Tortorella, chapter 5, verse 23. Say what you want about Renney, but he got an awful lot out of Jagr. A lot more than Torts gets out of Gabby.

hpNYR 03-25-2011 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vito Andolini (Post 31902045)
I think Torts would love to play Gaborik more, but one look at that defensive effort last night which led to the goal in a 0-0 game, and it's not hard to understand why his icetime gets limited.

He's been playing better lately...but lets face it, his line is no power house. He's a good sniper but not exactly the kind of player you want out there at all times.

Gaborik should not be used as if he's a liability. Maybe his recent play warrants it- but I'd do the complete opposite of what Torts is doing. I'd try to give him a confidence boost. This is coming from a HUGE JT fan.

Gaborik has seen his fair share of schooling in the Jaques Lemaire school. Of the snipers in this league he's far from being a liability. He was used on the PK in Minnesota, and was also used on the PK last season. He should be that kind of threat for us in more aspects than just 5 on 5 and at times PP. Yes we have better suitable players for the PK;; but im just trying to make a point that Gaborik needs to be a player who's viewed as a threat night in and out. A player who isn't looked at as a total defensive liability.

Fataldogg 03-25-2011 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hpNYR (Post 31902117)
Gaborik should not be used as if he's a liability. Maybe his recent play warrants it- but I'd do the complete opposite of what Torts is doing. I'd try to give him a confidence boost. This is coming from a HUGE JT fan.

Gaborik has seen his fair share of schooling in the Jaques Lemaire school. Of the snipers in this league he's far from being a liability. He was used on the PK in Minnesota, and was also used on the PK last season. He should be that kind of threat for us in more aspects than just 5 on 5 and at times PP. Yes we have better suitable players for the PK;; but im just trying to make a point that Gaborik needs to be a player who's viewed as a threat night in and out. A player who isn't looked at as a total defensive liability.

Exactly how I see it. What Tortorella is doing can't do much for his confidence. And, as snipers go, Gaborik is one of the more responsible one's in the NHL. You want to talk about a player who came from a "defensive" system, go no further than Gaborik. He can PK, he can play 5-on-5, he can be on the PP, etc.

hpNYR 03-25-2011 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fataldogg (Post 31902210)
Exactly how I see it. What Tortorella is doing can't do much for his confidence. And, as snipers go, Gaborik is one of the more responsible one's in the NHL. You want to talk about a player who came from a "defensive" system, go no further than Gaborik. He can PK, he can play 5-on-5, he can be on the PP, etc.

Totally with you and your OP. Nice post. :)

Loffen 03-25-2011 12:39 PM

Gabby isn't exactly a willing shot blocker, so it's pretty pointless to have him out there on the PK. It's not like he would convert on a shorthanded chance anyway... His breakaways for the most part is shot right into the goalie.

Vito Andolini 03-25-2011 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hpNYR (Post 31902117)
Gaborik should not be used as if he's a liability. Maybe his recent play warrants it- but I'd do the complete opposite of what Torts is doing. I'd try to give him a confidence boost. This is coming from a HUGE JT fan.

Gaborik has seen his fair share of schooling in the Jaques Lemaire school. Of the snipers in this league he's far from being a liability. He was used on the PK in Minnesota, and was also used on the PK last season. He should be that kind of threat for us in more aspects than just 5 on 5 and at times PP. Yes we have better suitable players for the PK;; but im just trying to make a point that Gaborik needs to be a players who's viewed as a threat night in and out.

It doesn't matter that he's played under Lemaire in the past. What matters is how he plays in these games. His backchecking display last night was flat out ugly. That's a tough pill to swallow if you're a coach trying to make the playoffs in a 0-0 game, late in the 2nd period.

He averaged 21 minutes a game under Torts last season, with plenty of ice time going down the stretch. The fact that that isn't the case this year is more of a reflection of Gaborik's play than Torts stubbornness.

This, once again, is going to be a grind going into the playoffs. Torts is going to go with the horses that he's been counting on all year, rather than leaning on a fragile, somewhat lazy star player.

hpNYR 03-25-2011 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vito Andolini (Post 31902294)
It doesn't matter that he's played under Lemaire in the past. What matters is how he plays in these games. His backchecking display last night was flat out ugly. That's a tough pill to swallow if you're a coach trying to make the playoffs in a 0-0 game, in the 3rd period.

He averaged 21 minutes a game under Torts last season, with plenty of ice time going down the stretch. The fact that that isn't the case this year is more of a reflection of Gaborik's play than Torts stubbornness.

This, once again, is going to be a grind going into the playoffs. Torts is going to go with the horses that he's been counting on all year, rather than leaning on a fragile, somewhat lazy star player.

Once again it comes down to confidence. If any of you watched Gaborik last season, then watched his play in the Olympics (playing injured) -- you would see what a phenomenal impact player he can be.

Also note that in the last game he significantly improved his back checking after the mistake. That's the type of game I know he can play.

Pizza 03-25-2011 12:54 PM

Some of the play I saw from Gaborick last night proved what I'd suspected. When he is skating the way he should, he can make plays on the fore check/back check to create opportunities for himself. He does not need to be a heavy grinder to do what he needs to do.

But he continues to put out less than a maximum effort IMO. Does anybody doubt that if his effort approached what Cally puts out most nights, we would have a 30 + goal scorer in the lineup?

Gabby IS a dynamic player.....the question is what will it take to see that on a more consistent basis?

hpNYR 03-25-2011 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loffen (Post 31902278)
Gabby isn't exactly a willing shot blocker, so it's pretty pointless to have him out there on the PK. It's not like he would convert on a shorthanded chance anyway... His breakaways for the most part is shot right into the goalie.

Nobody is advertising putting Gaborik on the PK. We do have better suitable players for that role. What is being said is that Gaborik should not be viewed as a liability and his past PK work is being used to back that up. Many of it comes from his time w/ Minnesota and Jaques Lemaire.

Also note that PK isn't all about blocking shots. Do you think the team wants Pavel Datsyuk putting his body in front of the puck every time? No they probably don't-- but he too kills penalties for Detroit. There are other methods of killing penalties than just blocking shots. Like having an active stick and covering the lanes positionally. That too can cancel out plays and minimize a PP.

Fataldogg 03-25-2011 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pizza (Post 31902553)
Some of the play I saw from Gaborick last night proved what I'd suspected. When he is skating the way he should, he can make plays on the fore check/back check to create opportunities for himself. He does not need to be a heavy grinder to do what he needs to do.

But he continues to put out less than a maximum effort IMO. Does anybody doubt that if his effort approached what Cally puts out most nights, we would have a 30 + goal scorer in the lineup?

Gabby IS a dynamic player.....the question is what will it take to see that on a more consistent basis?

Maybe to be thought of as the "go to guy" instead battling for ice time with Boyle and Prust.

Let's face it, in the playoffs, down a goal in the third period in a game facing elimination, I have no doubt that Tortorella would put out Boyle / Prust / Dubinsky over Gaborik, and sit his franchise impact player.

He's proven he can play in big moments. He had a phenomenal showing in a post season with the Wild and a fantastic run with Slovakia in the Olympics. He has to be our go to guy. Regardless of how hard he back checked, on one shift, in a game vs the Senators.

Pizza 03-25-2011 01:24 PM

It's been more than one game Fatal. He's looked lathargic much of the season. If he would just move his ass more he would put on display why he should be the go to guy.....which I agree with you he is and should be.

satrabyk 03-25-2011 01:29 PM

ONE WORD, FRAGILE. You cant play a guy who does everything to avoid contact and therefore extra hesitant, and simply avoids physical play a lot of minutes, its just to easy for the other team. Torts is playing him just right and Gabs is doing pretty well in that reduced ice time. PP is were u should if anything increase ice time, as u dont usually get hit on the PP. I wouldint mind seeing him on the PK actually, its 5 on 5 were the physicallity makes him less effective.


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