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After a pretty nice bounce back win, the only thing on Ranger fans minds are, how is Marian Gaborik. I was thinking it, you were thinking it, it’s all anyone who watched the broadcast was thinking. You see Marian Gaborik have issues with his lower body, not finish the game, not skate out for the first star announcement, and all you can think of is, well, seasons over.

You don’t want to be too melodramatic here, I mean, this Ranger team is clearly not a 1-man show, but Gaborik and Lundqvist are the reasons we are 1 point out of first place, and not one of those middle of the row teams right now. The Rangers have 4 players, including Gaborik, in the top 15 in scoring right now, including rookie phenom Michael Del Zotto (MDZ Soren!) who notched his 12th point in 12 games played and is now halfway there to eclipsing the point total of Mara, Girardi, and Staal for all of last year. But this really all goes back to Gaborik though. Gaborik who is now tied for the lead league in goals. Gaborik who is now second in the league in points. Gaborik who has either scored or assisted on 39% of the teams total offense is the key figure here.

When you see Marian Gaborik leave the ice with a lower body injury, you have the same reaction as we all did when Henrik Lundqvist was writhing in pain 2 days ago. You freak the hell out. And I don’t blame you one iota.

The good news though, is that apparently the injury may not be anything major. According to Gaborik it was unrelated to the groin and hip issues that have plagued his career, and was “nothing major”. To me, it looked just like a Charley Horse, and the Rangers were being overprotective (and rightfully so!) of their 7.5 million dollar investment. It’s also possible it was a knee issue, as he definitely appeared to be flexing his leg at the knee itself (which is why either explanation really seems possible). Considering Gaborik wasn’t limping after the game, my guess is he skips practice tomorrow, and will be on the ice on Wednesday in a game I am sure every New Yorker is waiting for with bated breath instead of watching anything else that’s going on.

With regards to the game itself, I was a lot happier with Lisins play after the first period. He again looked extremely weak with the puck on his stick, and often shot either wide, or turned it over immediately unlike his counterparts on the line who hold on to the puck for a bit and take a look around before doing something with it. Lisin was a bit more decisive and quick to react as the game wore on, and even scored a goal (granted there are maybe 3 or 4 NHL goalies who give up that one…he just happened to get one of those goalies in the net for that shot), but more importantly had a few quality scoring chances, and was involved in the play. He bought another game in my eyes just because I am curious to see how he follows this up. Will he continue to build on the last 2 periods, or will he go back to playing like he has the bulk of this season. Remember, we are playing a guy with 8 points (only 2 points more than “4th liner” Artem Anisimov) with 2 guys who have combined to scored 34 points. Personally, I think Anisimov has more offensive talent, and wouldn’t mind seeing him getting a game or 2 at the pivot position with Prospal moving back to left wing just to see what the kid can do. But that’s just me.

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