Richards, Gaborik developing chemistry for Rangers
It was just the Rangers’ first exhibition game, only the first time Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik played together against what coach John Tortorella likes to call, “different colors,” but there’s little doubt that the elite dispatcher and world-class sniper are going to combine to present a world of trouble for opponents.
Richards will carry the puck. Gaborik will look for seams and to jump into openings. The left wing on the first line — a true blue first line the club has lacked since Tortorella arrived two-thirds of the way through 2008-09 — will be a complementary piece, whether it’s Wojtek Wolski or a forward to named later.
“When Richie has the puck, he’s always looking. We worked a few give-and-go’s and created chances at even strength and on the power play,” said Gaborik, who scored a power play goal and had an even-strength assist on a Richards’ goal in the Rangers’ 4-3 victory over the Devils in New Jersey last night. “It was only the first game and obviously we have things to work on, but I thought it was good.”
Gaborik won’t carry the puck as much he has been accustomed to throughout his career. That job will fall to Richards, who admitted that he needs to play himself into regular-season game shape.
“That will be a little bit of an adjustment, but I’m going to try to get lost when he’s carrying it,” Gaborik said. “If I get open, I know the puck will be on my stick and if guys are on me, he will find the open man.”
Wolski, who has completed the trio through most of camp, had an average night. Tortorella repeated that he would look at a other options on the left, but with the way thing are falling at least at the moment, that seems the most logical alignment to start the season.