by Patrick Hoffman on 01/20/11 at 10:43 AM ET
When we first heard that New York Rangers’ forward Brandon Dubinsky was going to be out with an injury for the next three to four weeks, Blueshirt fans probably wondered who was going to step up and provide the offense.
As it turns out, the player that should have been supplying offense all season long stepped up in a big way last night with four goals and an assist for five points in a 7-0 white-washing of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The player I am talking about is Marian Gaborik.
Gaborik was simply an offensive force last night. He hustled, had a nose for the net, put pucks to the net and the puck always seemed to find him at the right time. These were all the things that he did last season that allowed him to score over 40 goals.
This is the Gaborik that team needs to have on a consistent basis. With someone like Dubinsky out, goals are going to be a bit harder to come by but if Gaborik can play like he did last night going forward, the team will be a lot better off.
Gaborik’s linemates Artem Anisimov and Sean Avery were also bright spots for the Rangers last night. Anisimov had four assists while Avery had three assists in what was a very productive night for that line.
As always, Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist got the job done when he needed to in making 22 saves for his seventh shutout of the season.
The Blueshirts will be back at it tonight in Raleigh when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be important for the team to put in the same effort they did last night if they want to come away with two points.
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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.