For all of the experts out there who will only read that title and possibly the first line of this article if your attention span is willing, I am fully aware that Marian Gaborik, the team's leading scorer in the regular season, must be better in the playoffs. So, before you go into the comments section of this post and tell me that I know nothing of the sport I've watched and played since a very young age just based on the title of this article, at least do me the favor of reading the bold print there.
As for the rest of you open-minded fans, we shall proceed.
First, allow me to start by asking these questions: Did Marian Gaborik make any game-changing mistakes in Game 2 last night? Was Marian Gaborik at fault on any of the three Washington goals? Is it Marian Gaborik's fault that Henrik Lundqvist cannot play the puck if his life depended on it? Or is it Marian Gaborik's fault that Stu Bickel committed a horrendous turnover?
Let's see, the first one would be a no. The second one there would also be a no. The third a no, and yeah, also a no for the fourth question.
Now, did Marian Gaborik aid the team in any way last night? Was Gaborik on the scoresheet? Did his effort and will improve from what we've seen in previous games?
Hmmm, yes, yes and, yup, yet another yes.
So now explain to me, logically, how Marian Gaborik is being pointed out as the scapegoat for the Rangers' Game 2 loss? Why is it that every Internet source and discussion forum out there is ripping Marian to shreds after last night?
That game could've went either way, and if any one single player cost the the Blueshirts, it was not Marian Gaborik. If you want to point fingers, they should all be pointing at Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Richards. Lundqvist made a foolish decision to play the puck behind the net, regardless of whatever excuse he concocted after the game, and Richards took a beyond lazy penalty late in the third period immediately after his club had just finished killing off a prior offence.
But just because the team couldn't generate the tying goal in yet another well-defended outing by both clubs, the top scorer takes the heat just because he is that - the top scorer. And that's despite the fact that he made a brilliant play to set up a hugely important goal towards the end of the second period.
Look, I'll be the first to say that Marian Gaborik has not played to the level of his ability in the playoffs, and I was also quick to point out last Thursday that he looked dead scared in Game 7 of the Ottawa series. His production has been unacceptable and he must improve. But at the same time, to blame Gaborik in a loss that he was the least of the team's worries in is just ridiculous.
I bet we wouldn't be hearing so much Gabby trash talk if the Rangers would have won that game, now would we?