Wild: Gaborik looks ahead with confidence

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 4, 2007 - 4:41 PM

That word is confident, and it applies to the Wild’s most electrifying star’s goal-scoring, health and his team’s expectations.

CARLOS GONZALEZ ¥ cgonzalez@startribune.comApril 5, 2007 Ð Xcel Center Ð St. Paul, MN Ð NHL Ð Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers Ð FOR FILE - Marian Gaborik, (10) during Thursday nightÕs game. Minnesota beat Edmonton by a final score of 3-0.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

With training camp less than two weeks away, Marian Gaborik is confident.

Just ask him.

During an interview with Gaborik last week, the Wild's chief game-breaker used the word confident or a semblance of the word, such as confidence, no less than a dozen times.

He's confident with the overhauled training program he engaged this offseason. He's confident his abdominal muscles are as strong as they've ever been. He's confident his groin problems are history. He's confident he'll be able to put in a full season and score 50 goals for the first time. And he's confident he can guide the Wild during a long playoff run.

All this talk about Gaborik's confidence has General Manager Doug Risebrough extremely confident.

When it comes to Gaborik avoiding his annual early-season groin injuries, Risebrough believes it has as much to do with Gaborik's mind as it does with his body.

"Obviously he's physically feeling better, but maybe more importantly, I know he's mentally feeling better," Risebrough said Sunday. "I went through this as a player myself. When you lose confidence in your body, it takes time to get it back.

"So here's a guy with a groin injury. He wants to push off, and he's not sure he can push off. That's a lack of confidence."

And since Gaborik's biggest asset is his speed, any lack of confidence in his legs can be debilitating.

But this summer, Gaborik significantly altered his training regimen. Between vacations to Mexico and Croatia, Gaborik worked mostly on strengthening his legs. He followed the program of Joe Horrigan, an L.A.-based soft tissue specialist whom Gaborik credits for getting him healthy during each of the past two seasons.

"I did a lot of speed work, a lot of running, a lot of working out and focusing on the lower body, doing core stuff and Olympic lifting," Gaborik said.

In July, Wild trainer Mike Vogt traveled to Slovakia, where he spent two weeks treating Gaborik with the same deep-tissue massage program Horrigan has recommended and Gaborik has found helpful in the past.

"I feel comfortable, you know?" Gaborik said. "I feel confident that I can ramp it up now to get conditioning on the ice. My goal first is to play the whole year, to be healthy. If I'm healthy, I am confident I can do a lot of good things for me and the team."

He's certainly proven in recent years that when healthy, he's as dominant as any player in the NHL. In the past two years, his .602 goals per game (68 goals in 113 games) was second best behind Ottawa's Dany Heatley (.610, 100 goals in 164 games).

In 2005-06, Gaborik missed 17 games because of two abdominal injuries but finished with 38 goals in 65 games, an 82-game pace of 48. Last season, he jumped out of the gate with seven points in his first six games before straining his groin at Anaheim.

He missed the next 34 games before scoring 26 goals and 50 points in his final 41 games, and 82-game pace of 52 goals and 100 points. The Wild was 19-2-2 when he scored and 33-9-6 when he played.

So, the key to the Wild's success is clearly having Gaborik stay healthy. The Wild, mostly silent this offseason by signing only center Eric Belanger and defenseman Sean Hill, certainly is banking on Gaborik not missing 30-plus games again.

"I know I learned a lot more last year," Gaborik said. "I have to stay on top of this, coming to the rink early and staying after so [Vogt] can loosen things up with the massages. I have to follow the strength program.

"If I do all this, I'm confident things will be good."

  • related content

  • Skating with the stars

    Monday September 3, 2007

    Four-time 30-goal scorer Marian Gaborik has proven the past two seasons that, when healthy, he can score with the best...

  • WILD: KEY DATES Friday: New Reebok Wild uniform unveiled; rookie camp begins in Traverse City, Mich. Sept. 13: Training camp physicals and off-ice testing begin Sept. 14: Training camp on-ice sessions begin Sept. 15: Single-game tickets on sale Sept. 18: Exhibition opener at home vs. Detroit Oct. 4: Regular-season opener at home vs. Chicago
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close