Wild's pair of aces: Demitra and Gaborik

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 11, 2007 - 7:34 AM

Look for Pavol Demitra, and you'll surely find Marian Gaborik nearby. The high-scoring forwards complete each other's passes -- as well as sentences. Their chemistry will be key as the Wild begins the playoffs.

Robyn Regehr doesn't suffer from motion sickness, and that's a good thing, because the Calgary defenseman wasn't expecting to spin up and down the ice like a dreidel when the Flames arrived in Minnesota last month.

Regehr was given the unenviable assignment of defending Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik, and the Wild wizards spent the night making Regehr twist and turn as he tried to guard against what's been dubbed the "Lob Pass."

You know, the pass where Gaborik takes off the second Demitra gets the puck. Demitra then lobs the puck up ice in the hope of Gaborik catching up on either a breakaway or a one-on-one situation with a very vulnerable, very dizzy defenseman.

You can bet the Anaheim Ducks, the Wild's opponent when the first round of the NHL playoffs open tonight, have been well-schooled about the lob pass. In fact, you can be certain the Honda Center is well stocked with Dramamine.

"It's something that doesn't happen against any other teams," said Regehr, who looked like a cornerback who lost sight of the football. "It's a total adventure when a guy like Gaborik, with all that speed, is skating forward and you're skating backward. And even if you're with him, one bad bounce, next thing you know he has the puck in the slot and you're in trouble."

And that's just the way Demitra likes it.

"It's a good play, because at least you're forcing the defense to always be nervous about it," Demitra said. "I'd be nervous if I had to challenge the fastest guy in the league. When Gabby gets going, it's almost impossible to stop him."

Gaborik nods, proudly. Demitra, sensing this, adds, "When we play with [Atlanta Thrashers superstar Marian] Hossa [in international competition], I lob it and let Gabby and Hossa fight for the puck and the breakaway.

"I do it just to amuse myself."

Best friends, on and off the ice

Spend any time with Gaborik, 25, and Demitra, 32, and it's easy to see why they're one of the NHL's most electrifying dynamic duos, why sometimes they seem to read each other's mind.

"Because we only use one brain -- mine," Demitra said, straight-faced.

Gaborik, laughing hysterically, shot back, "Yeah, we use the bald one."

Seemingly attached at the hip -- "On the road we spend 24 hours a day together," Demitra says -- the Slovak sidekicks live to cut each other up.

That was evident during last week's Star Tribune photo shoot, when Demitra was impatiently ready to strike a pose while Gaborik stared endlessly into a mirror fixing his hair.

"Gabby, come on!" Demitra screamed. "You're still going to be ugly."And you still won't have any hair," Gaborik retorted.

Asked how much they love picking on each other, Gaborik smiled ear-to-ear.

"Lots of different jokes," Gaborik said. "We pick on each other in all kinds of areas. Sometimes it gets too much though, too personal with stuff, and we get mad. I always tell him he's bald and 'Big [Butt],' and he's always calling me ugly and how he's so good-looking."We're very close. We know everything about each other," Demitra added, before interrupting himself. "You should listen to us on the bench. We yell at each other a lot. If we don't get the puck when we want it, we let each other know when somebody's unhappy. That's how it's supposed to be."Yeah," Gaborik said, "it's good to be honest. I think every duo out there does the same thing, or you can't have success."

  • related content

  • Strelow, pioneering goalie coach, dies

    Wednesday April 11, 2007

    Herb Brooks and the goaltending guru were longtime friends and Olympic colleagues.

  • Twosome will draw a big crowd

    Tuesday April 10, 2007

    Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra will get considerable attention from Chris Pronger and the rest of the Ducks.

  • Mushy ice is sore spot again with Gaborik

    Tuesday April 10, 2007

    ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Tuesday's practice was Marian Gaborik's first on the Honda Center ice surface that sent him limping off...

  • Mark Parrish: A dream comes true

    Tuesday April 10, 2007

    After nine years in the NHL, Bloomington's Mark Parrish finally feels he is on a team that can make a run in the playoffs. And his adjustment after the first...

  • Patrick Reusse: Back in playoffs, Rolston seeks an improved finish

    Tuesday April 10, 2007

    Postseason disappointments led to a departure from Boston. Now, veteran Brian Rolston will try to regain his scoring touch for the Wild.

  • Player profile: Mikko Koivu

    Tuesday April 10, 2007

    In order to make a playoff run, every team needs somebody unexpected to catch fire. In 1996, Dave Lowry scored...

  • Wild scouting report

    Wednesday April 11, 2007

    OFFENSEFor the first time, the Wild has three lines that can score. Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra combined for 87...

  • Wild teammates Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 9/22/14 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close