Zero goals and an injury three games into the season. This describes Marian Gaborik at the beginning of last season.
Four goals and instant chemistry with Brad Richards describes Marian Gaborik so far this season, which is only five games in.
If you've been watching the Rangers this season you would know that Gaborik is back in business. The wheels are flying, the hands are shooting, and the body is healthy. This guy Richards is also helping out.
Gabby is a man on a mission after a disappointing season last year. He's been flying all over the ice and has been a major factor in each game so far. The Rangers finally have a first line and it is very potent. Gaborik having scored last night, now has four goals in five games played. Richards on the other hand has a goal and an assist in five games.
There are two reasons why he is having the success that he is having. First, he is playing alongside star Center, Brad Richards. Richards has elite vision and talent that make it much easier for Gaborik to succeed compared to playing alongside, say Erik Christensen. Instead of having to make the play happen on his own, which he should not be doing, he finds the open space and capitalizes when he receives the puck.
Even more importantly, Gabby is healthy. Last season Gaborik got injured in the third game and was out for four weeks. He then got a minor concussion against the Los Angeles Kings later in the season. He was never able to recover from all the injuries and was very timid out on the ice. He wasn't himself, but now he's got his mojo back. He's engaged, he's moving his legs, and he's having fun.
The Rangers take on the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night and boy does Gaborik enjoy playing them. He has 45 points in 46 games against Edmonton, including a hat trick last season in their only encounter.
Get excited because Gabby's back with a vengeance.