38° Good Afternoon
38° Good Afternoon

Better forwards mean less guaranteed ice time for Gaborik

Marian Gaborik has had his usual 17-20 minutes a game drop to 14:30 or so the last two games. He'd prefer to be back playing more than just a steady turn, especially with all the offensive struggles he's had, with one goal in eight games and only 19 shots on goal in that span.

But John Tortorella has a better crop of forwards than last year, so the move to double-shift Gaborik, which worked well at times last season, isn't necessarily in the plans to help get him going.

"This year's team is a little different. We've got guys who have done some good things for us here," Tortorella said. "I go into games wide open. The players make decisions for me, especially this year's team."

So Gaborik will need to capitalize on his power play time. The PP took up the final hour of Wednesday's lengthy practice, and then five-on-three time took up the first half-hour of today's practice.

"We get that one ugly goal, get something, and I think everything will go from there," Gaborik said. He had 14 PPGs a season ago, but just four this year. "We had a good couple of days to practice it."

The forward lines and defense pairings stayed the same today. Henrik Lundqvist will almost certainly start tomorrow in Atlanta, with Steve Eminger still likely the healthy scratch on defense.

New York Sports