Marian Gaborik made quite a statement when he chased down a routine dump-in from Kings teammate Justin Williams in Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals. His hustle negated an icing call and he out-foxed Capitals defenseman John Carlson. Gaborik wasn’t content, however. He then whipped a pass to a hard-charging Anze Kopitar, who beat goalie Jaroslav Halak with a quick shot.
It was a tidy summary on the reasons the Kings acquired Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 5 for ineffective forward Matt Frattin, a second-round pick either this year or next plus a conditional third-round selection. They needed a more dynamic offensive presence and GM Dean Lombardi had targeted Gaborik for quite some time. He liked his speed, his skill and his knack for making plays, all of which the Kings seemed to lack in great numbers.
So, how has the trade worked for the Kings? Gaborik has two goals and two assists, including one power-play goal and one power-play assist, in seven games in which the Kings have gone 4-3-0. His plus/minus defensive rating is minus-1. He has 23 shots on goal and has played an average of 18 minutes, 2 seconds. Above all, he’s proved to be another offensive weapon for a team with an anemic offense. It will be interesting to see if he continues to click with Kopitar, and why wouldn’t he?