Marian Gaborik Can't Carry the Rangers by Himself

Rob CristinoCorrespondent INovember 18, 2009

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) Marian Gaborik #10 and Vinny Prospal #20 of the New York Rangers celebrate a goal against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden on October 14, 2009 in New York, New York. The Rangers defeated the Kings 5-4.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Who would’ve thought that the New York Rangers would finally have a goal scorer that can actually score goals?

Rangers General Manager Glen Sather has been known to make plenty of poor decisions when it comes to signing big name free agents, but despite his poor track record, it appears he finally got it right looking in the direction of superstar Marian Gaborik .

Though Gaborik is always a risk, thanks to his very fragile past, he has been worth the high gamble (five-year deal, worth $37.5 million). Gaborik has skated in all but two games this season and has been a huge contributor whenever he is on the ice.He has been exactly as advertised, a player with a lightning-quick shot who can score goals in the blink of an eye.

Gaborik has scored 15 goals and has contributed 12 assists for a team high 27 points. He shares the league lead in goals with Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Gaborik's debut season in New York has been a success (so far), but it’s becoming more and more evident that the Rangers need much more offense if they are to be a competitive team in the NHL.

Though Gaborik makes a difference every game, he can’t continue to be the only true goal scorer for the Rangers. Someone else needs to step up and help contribute to the team because right now, it’s becoming a one man show...similar to the time he spent with the Minnesota Wild.

The Rangers finally have that desperately needed goal scorer in Gaborik, but now lack a true supporting cast. Take a look at all of the successful teams in the league, just about every team has at least two guys who can get it done on a consistent basis.

Unfortunately, the Rangers still have a few missing pieces to this 1,000 piece puzzle.

Yes, Vinny Prospal has been great this season and has been very impressive with his on-ice vision. After all, he leads the team in assists with 16 helpers, but he is a playmaker not a goal scorer. He has helped make things happen offensively, but at times it can be tough when Gaborik is the only forward scoring on a consistent basis.

What about Ales Kotalik, who is currently third on the team with 17 points? Kotalik is a huge difference on the power play, leading the team in power play points, but there's the problem.

Of Kotalik’s 17 total points on the season, 13 have come from the power play, leaving just four points during even strength. Though it's nice to see the power play get more chances, Kotalik must improve his overall game by being more of a complete player.

It seems we are all on repeat, singing the same tired tune that the Rangers need more offense.

With Brandon Dubinsky out with an injury, the Rangers have just four players with ten points or more in their lineup through 21 games. After looking at an offensively potent team like the Capitals who have eight players with ten or more points, that’s certainly a big department to lack in.

The Capitals disposed of this offensively challenged Rangers team with a 4-2 win at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, where the only two goals for New York came from the stick of Gaborik.

The Capitals had four different goal scorers, including Brian Pothier’s empty netter, which ultimately sealed the win for Washington.

Gaborik almost matched Washington goal-for-goal, but eventually ran out of steam as a late Rangers’ turnover halted what was turning into a third period rally.

Now the Rangers fall to 11-9-1 and will have three days off to think about their latest loss, before hosting the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets as part of their three-game homestand.

Can the Rangers use games against the Panthers and Blue Jackets to get back on track? Will Rangers fans see another player step up his game before this team falls further down in the Eastern Conference Standings?