Coach Sutter says Kings need Gaborik ‘to get hot’

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The Los Angeles Kings have built a 10-point lead atop the Pacific Division, but things could be better.

Veteran forward Marian Gaborik has struggled in 2015-16. The 33-year-old hasn’t scored since Dec. 31, and he’s on pace to score just 14 goals and 30 points this season. He has no points in his last six contests.

“Since we got in a busy schedule, I think his energy level went way down, so his detail dropped off, said Kings coach Darryl Sutter, per The LA Times. When his detail drops off, his skill does not come to the forefront.

“I’ve told guys: ‘Hey, I’m taking minutes away.’ When we’ve got extra guys, taking minutes away means guys move down or up. Get your game back and you can play. It’s just an honest approach with him.”

Gaborik has already seen his ice-time cut since the Christmas break.

Before the break, Gaborik had consistently been playing between 16-19 minutes per game. Since Dec. 26, he’s played over 16 minutes just twice.
“We need him to get hot,” added Sutter. “We’ve ridden four or five guys’ numbers this year. We need more, not just out of Gabby. It’s about winning and the team concept. In order to sustain [winning] and do it for a long time, you’ve got to get more out of that part of our lineup, no question. That’s not a criticism. That’s a fact.”
The Kings will play back-to-back road games against Coyotes and Sharks on tonight and tomorrow.