by Patrick Hoffman on 11/24/09 at 11:52 PM ET
From friend of the blog Jim Cerny at Rink Rap:
There are a host of players off to great starts this season. But who is most valuable to his own team? I’d have to say Marian Gaborik of the Rangers.
Gaborik’s numbers certainly back this argument. In 21 games played (he missed two because of an injury), Gaborik has 18 goals—-nearly one-per-game—-and 32 points. He is tied with Heatley for the league lead in goals, and is second behind Kopitar in points. He has also scored at least one point in 19 of the 21 games in which he has played, showing tremendous consistency this season.
Dig deeper and you find out that Gaborik has also been a workhorse, averaging more than 22 minutes of ice-time, among the leaders for all forwards in the NHL. He has also been an excellent penalty killer, while thriving on the power play with seven power play goals, second most in the league.
But dig some more and you find out the real reason why I think Gaborik is the MVP of the first quarter of this season.
Gaborik has put up these elite-level numbers with little-to-no help from his teammates. In fact in a stretch that spanned more than 200 minutes of hockey and ended in the first period of last night’s victory over the Blue Jackets, the Rangers did not have a goal scored by a player not named Marian Gaborik or Vinny Prospal. That’s a total of six goals, and Gaborik either scored or assisted on all six.
Click here for more on the top stories, teams and players from Cerny’s eyes.
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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.