Rangersí Gaborik switches sides
By LARRY BROOKS
Last Updated: 5:24 AM, January 14, 2013
Posted: 2:06 AM, January 14, 2013
If there were a sight stranger than the Rangers actually on the ice for their first sanctioned team practice after all these months of being locked out, it was Marian Gaborik lining up on the left side.
And as Gaborik told The Post, thatís where he anticipates opening the season Saturday night in Boston after an 11-year NHL career spent all but exclusively on right wing.
ďTorts [coach John Tortorella] told me thatís where heíd like to see me, so Iím going to prepare and practice at left wing,Ē said Gaborik, whose 41 goals last season were third most in the NHL behind Steven Stamkosí 60 and Evgeni Malkinís 50.
Again... Nothing permanent here. If it works, great! If not he goes back to the right. If there's a negative to this it's that a shortened pre-season (if u can even call it that) won't tell us a lot. It will have to be game tested. Gabby would've more than likely been out until about now in any event with the surgery.
It's worth a shot, though I'm not sure why Gaborik is the one to move when we KNOW Nash can play on the left side. If those lines posted are who Torts wants in the top six, I'd rather see something like this:
I know this is just an experiment and nothing permanent, but still. A little curious IMO. Although I guess with our RW depth we'll need to know eventually whether Gabs can play on the left.
I like those 2 lines. All 6 deserve top 6 minutes and each line has an elite scorer on one side and a defensively reliable winger that can also score on the other....
The question that concerns me (as we've discussed before) is the 3rd line of Kreider-Boyle-Pyatt. Some might say ck as a rookie has to earn his ice time but I don't see that combo as a good fit offensively or defensively
I find it a bit strange, because on the other side they talk about how important it is to get off to a fast start so is this the right time to start experimenting with things like that? Maybe next season with a proper camp + pre-season games and all.
One thing that is interesting here - if Gaborik with his speedy wheels moves to the left side - is that he will be pairing up against different defenders than previously on the right side (on the top 2 D pairings at least). I find them generally, but not always, weaker than the defenders he has been going up against on the left side. Just a thought
Take a look and elaborate:
Vs Boston (3)
Vs Buffalo (3)
Vs Carolina (3)
Vs Florida (3)
Vs Montreal (3)
Vs NJD (4)
Vs Fishstix (4)
Vs Ottawa (3)
Vs Philthy (5)
Vs Pittsburgh (5)
Vs TML (3)
Vs Washington (3)
Vs Winnipeg (3)
Please feel free to correct any mistakes you might find regarding defensive pairings!
Not to hijack this thread or take it on a tangent, but what I found interesting is that Krieder was not mentioned as a top-2 line forward. Either the kid starts the year in Hartford or he starts on the third line. IMO, the latter is a mistake. He needs to play as a top-6 forward. Not on the checking line. I would not hesitate to replace Hagellin on the top line with Krieder. Let the latter play with Boyle on the checking line.
Unless off course, Krieder is ticketed for Hartford. Which I just cannot believe.
speed - playmaker - net crasher (scorer)
speed (scorer) - playmaker - net crasher
But I agree that it's a bit curious to take Gabby out of his normal position. Typically you play the superstar where he'll be most effective and move the other guys around him - not the other way 'round.
If it works, great - but if it doesn't, the experiment won't last long.
Wonder if this move and Torts' unprecedented praise of Gabby are in some way linked...?
It's like Kreider doesn't exist. And Hagelin is NOT a top 6 forward. I expect the coaches to know this.
Hagelin can't run the offense, but he's a great complimentary player. He looked fine last year in the top 6. His defensive presence can't hurt. Neither Richards nor Gaborik play much defense and Nash is only slightly better than them in that regard.
Well, will be interesting to see what happens. I worry about experimenting with so little time in the season, but realistically every team is trying to incorporate some new players and get wrinkles ironed out
If Gabby does not rack up a lot of goals before the deadline I think we seriously should consider moving him . He has been and always will be a fragile player . We could get in on the Getzlaf/Perry grab at the deadline and I would sooner have one of those guys playing the Pen/Bruins/Flyers in the playoffs than Gabby .
I know we lose a year because Getzlaf & Perry would need to be signed while Gabby already is for next season . Anaheim could possibly consider the deal because they would have a signed asset in Gabby for 2014 and then they could move him at the 2015 deadline for something .
I want a Cup...we missed out on an easy crack at it last year because we did not make the crucial moves . Sometimes you gotta give to get !!! Flame away .