by Patrick Hoffman on 11/11/10 at 12:00 PM ET
New York Rangers forward Marian Gaborik will return to the lineup tonight for the first time since October 15th and will take on the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.
The team’s offense has played pretty well without the offensive talent that is Gaborik but will certainly welcome him back into the fold with open arms. With that said, however, the team cannot rely on him to do everything and will need to do their part to contribute offensively.
The reason I am saying this is because when a superstar returns to any kind of team, that said team will more often that not slip back into old habits and rely on the superstar to pick them up and carry them on his shoulders. The Blueshirts simply cannot afford to do this with Gaborik.
With that said, it will be up to head coach John Tortorella to find the right fit for him in the lineup. As of right now, only two of the team’s lines are set and that would be the Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan line and the Avery-Boyle-Prust line.
The other lines need some tinkering so it will be interesting to see what Tortorella has in mind and where he thinks Gaborik will be best suited.
Again though, the team cannot afford to throw all of their eggs in Gaborik’s basket. They need to continue supplying the offense themselves and hope that Gaborik joins in.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.