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How many goals can we reasonably expect Marian Gaborik to score for the Kings down the stretch?

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Martin Rose

The Kings made a splash at the deadline acquiring Marian Gaborik from Columbus in exchange for Matt Frattin and a pick.

Gaborik is 7th among active players in goals per game. He has had a tough year as he’s dealt with injuries, but when he’s been in the line-up he has remained productive. If he remains healthy, how much of a goal scoring boost could he give the Kings?

Kings Forwards Expected Goals

Player Name Exp EV Goals Exp PP Goal EXP TOT Goals
CARTER, JEFF 5.1 2.4 7.5
GABORIK, MARIAN 4.7 1.0 5.8
KOPITAR, ANZE 3.8 1.1 4.9
WILLIAMS, JUSTIN 3.2 1.3 4.5
BROWN, DUSTIN 2.9 1.4 4.2
TOFFOLI, TYLER 3.4 0.7 4.1
RICHARDS, MIKE 2.3 1.1 3.4
KING, DWIGHT 2.5 0.0 2.5
STOLL, JARRET 2.0 0.4 2.3
CLIFFORD, KYLE 1.7 0.0 1.7
PEARSON, TANNER 1.4 0.2 1.6
NOLAN, JORDAN 1.4 0.0 1.4
LEWIS, TREVOR 0.9 0.0 0.9

These projections take into account time on ice and are based on each forward playing the remaining 19 games. Click here for more on the methodology.

Based on projecting 14 minutes of even strength time and 2:45 of power play time per game, and also taking into account his shot and goal rates over the last 4 seasons, we can reasonably expect Gaborik to score about 6 goals down the stretch. That would be good for 2nd on the team and puts him right behind Jeff Carter.

This is based on Gaborik shooting 11.1% (his shooting percentage over the last 4 years). If Gaborik performs a little better than expected, say 14%, then he would total about 7 goals. If he slumps, say 8%, then he would score about 4 goals.

Before trading for Marian Gaborik, Kings forwards have scored 1.9 goals per game. Based on our projections and taking into account their season averages in shorthanded and empty net goals, Kings forwards should average 2.5 goals per game down the stretch. That’s a difference of 49 goals over 82 games.

If the Kings’ suppressed goal scoring numbers regress toward the mean going forward and if Gaborik can stay healthy, LA will be a powerhouse once again down the stretch and in the playoffs.