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New York Rangers Move Marian Gaborik Back to Natural Wing

February 14th, 2013 at 9:39 AM
By PJ Foti

'Blues vs. Rangers-8775.jpg' photo (c) 2011, Sarah Connors - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Early in the year, the New York Rangers experimented with their lines to have Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash together on the ice.

As a result, Gaborik or Nash would have to line up at left wing. Gaborik took the fall, and it started out great as he was off to a hot start with four early goals. However, it took a turn for the worst and the top line failed to score for a few games in a row. Since the call-up of J.T. Miller, Rangers head coach John Tortorella has shifted lines and in the process moved Gaborik back to the right wing.

I’m more comfortable on the right side,” Gaborik said.

Gaborik still plays with Richards, but they dropped Nash off this line — to play with Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin — and brought Taylor Pyatt to play the left wing on this line.

It seems to be paying off as Gaborik is playing more like, well, Gaborik.

He scored a goal in the team's victory over the the New York Islanders while playing on his "new" line, and registered a team-high four shots in about 18 minutes of ice time Tuesday night in the Rangers' 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins.

Tortorella was unaware of his comfort level on the left side, but thought Gaborik played well for being out of position.

“If that’s what he feels, I believe him, he’s played there quite a bit,” Tortorella said. “Historically, Gabby has scored a lot of goals coming down the left side also, right now that’s where our lines are at. I think he handled himself very well when I had him on left wing.”

Either way, the experiment is over and Gaborik has returned to the right wing. If these past few games tell us anything, we can all expect to see Gaborik getting more shots on net which is always a good thing as shots lead to goals.

Tags: Boston Bruins, Brad Richards, Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan, Hockey, John Tortorella, Marian Gaborik, New York, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, NHL, Rick Nash, Taylor Pyatt

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