Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik has already had some big performances in the 2014 playoffs and he isn’t slowing down. The 32-year-old forward is on a four-game point streak and is tied for first in the league with six goals in 10 contests.
He’s made those around him, and Anze Kopitar in particular, better too. In many ways, Gaborik has provided the missing element to jumpstart the Kings’ offense for the most important time of the year.
“It was something that we were missing for a long time here,” Kopitar said, per the Edmonton Sun. “A left winger, a left shot, it was obviously exciting.”
He’s more than that though.
“He’s a constant threat with his shooting ability and his scoring ability,” Kopitar added. “Every time he comes into the offensive zone, everyone is paying attention to him, maybe that gives me a few more inches to work with. Giving the puck to him in the slot is always a good option.”
Not every trade deadline deal works out. In fact, often times a team that gets a major contributor right before the playoffs don’t live up to expectations, but this isn’t the first time the Kings have made it work.
They also acquired Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets ahead of the 2012 postseason and he helped lead them to a Stanley Cup championship. One common element between the two — aside from Columbus — is that both players were having rough seasons, in part due to injuries. In both cases, the player being acquired was hungry for a fresh start.
The Kings hope that this is one case where history will continue to repeat itself.