Gaborik frustrated by shoulder injury, says his shot “wasn’t there” during playoffs

Shortly after it was learned Marian Gaborik would undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff — which could sideline him for six months — the Rangers forward spoke to reporters via conference call.

The Slovakian sniper refused to use the injury as the reason for his poor playoff production, but admitted he felt the effects.

“It was there,” Gaborik said. “I know I could play better. I don’t think it affected me that much. It was just weak. During the game, the adrenaline kicks in and everything goes to the side. Shooting, my shot wasn’t there, obviously, but I don’t want to make excuses.”

He described the injury as “frustrating” and it’s likely the reason his goal production plummeted. After scoring 41 times in the regular season, Gaborik found the back of the net just five times in 20 playoff games — dropping his goals per game ratio from .50 to .25.

As for a timeline, Gaborik will undergo surgery in New York next week after returning from his native Slovakia. The sixth month recovery window projects his return to be sometime in early December, but he is hoping to be back on the ice before that.

“I’m going to try everything to be back before [six months], right around five months,” Gaborik said. “But I’m going to be smart about it, see how everything is going to go, when it feels better. Obviously, I’m frustrated. I was hoping for a better report from the doctors.

“It is frustrating. It is what it is. I just have to focus on getting back healthy and being ready.”

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.