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

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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 Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close