Gaborik and the Kings are a perfect match
Gaborik is someone that can put the puck in the net (347 career goals), set up teammates (357 career assists), be productive on the power play (92 power play goals), and create tons of scoring chances for his hockey club.
With all of that said, however, it seems that because of his injury history, he's had trouble sticking with teams for a long period of time. Since joining the league in the 2000-01 season, he has played for four teams (Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Los Angeles Kings) and has had trouble finding a permanent home with a club.
This outlook has certainly changed since being acquired by the Los Angeles Kings. Not only did he do well in the 19 regular season games he played with the club (5 goals and 11 assists for 16 points), but he has raised his game to a whole other level in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.
As of this writing, Gaborik has 11 goals and six assists for 17 points in 19 games. Prior to joining the Kings, the most goals he scored in a postseason was nine back in 2002-03 in leading his Wild hockey club to the Western Conference Finals.
It is easy to see why Gaborik is excelling in California with the Kings. For starters, he's not the only one that can create a lot of offense for this Kings' hockey club.
While with the Wild, Rangers, and Blue Jackets, Gaborik was heavily relied on to put the puck in the net, produce and be the team's best offensive player. While he was able to do that in several seasons with the Wild and two out of the five seasons with the Blueshirts, it was a lot of pressure to put on just one player.
With the Kings, the pressure is not all on Gaborik. This team has the likes of Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, Tyler Toffoli, and others who can all step up and provide offense for their hockey club.
Secondly, Kings' head coach Darryl Sutter has put him on a line with Kopitar and Brown. With these two players, Gaborik gets play with very versatile linemates who make things easy for him.
Kopitar has been a wizard in terms of setting up Gaborik this postseason. Kopitar leads the team with 17 assists and 22 points and Gaborik has played a huge part in Kopitar's offensive numbers in these playoffs.
Brown is someone who can muck it up in the corners, dig pucks out, and create room for Gaborik on the ice. Brown may not be the biggest guy, but his physical style of play enables Gaborik to feel protected and play without constantly looking over his shoulder.
Lastly, it is easy to see that Gaborik is playing with a true Cup contender in the Kings right now. Having won a Cup in 2012 and one victory away from getting to their second Stanley Cup Final in three years, the Kings should continue to be a contender for several more years and that is something that Gaborik has to like.
The Kings are a well-oiled machine and with Gaborik now a key cog for this hockey club, it makes them even more potent and dangerous. Those are two things that Gaborik is when he is on top of his game, which he has been ever since becoming a King.