Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record notes that John Tortorella acknowledged that Marian Gaborik, who scored his team leading sixth goal in the first period last night, was one of the players he considered benching against the Islanders before eventually deciding on Brian Boyle…
“There’s a couple of tops [top-liners] but they’ve got a little bit of a bank account – five goals. Brian has squat. The other guys are going to be held accountable also. There’s no question, when you have a third- or fourth-line guy, they’re easy targets because they don’t have the goals. Some other guys I’m really upset with are also making plays.”
Gaborik played just 14:42 last night. Only 1:11 more than rookie JT Miller.
…guess Torts made the right decision. Assuming he still had a few choice words for Gabby before the game. Message received I guess.
…and this further proves the importance of depth. With hungry, youngsters such as Miller and Kreider chomping at the bit to make an impression, while Powe, Halpern, Asham and Boyle fight for a spot in the line-up, players know that Torts isn't making empty threats. If you're not playing to the best of your abilities there is someone else who is ready, willing and able to take your spot in the line-up. Competition is a great motivator. And I think we saw that last night with Gaborik.