Veteran left winger Marian Gaborik, acquired in a blockbuster trade from the New York Rangers three weeks ago, has three goals and four assists in 10 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets are 7-3 with Gaborik in the lineup. They are coming off a five-game trip that netted four victories. Their sudden and surprising ascension is among the most captivating stories of the post-lockout NHL. Columbus coach Todd Richards on Gaborik: "What I see," Richards said, "is a player who is engaged." Forward Vinny Prospal added: "He's a huge part in the way other teams have to respect his ability to score, and it opens up a lot of holes for other players," Prospal said. "He knows we're a hard-working team and we don't necessarily score a lot of goals. He also knows in our system, we don't give up a lot, either. He understands all of this and how he fits into it."