Gaborik back in lineup

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

ST. PAUL -- Jacques Lemaire can understand there being a sense of relief among his Minnesota Wild players.

Marian Gaborik is finally back, healthy and ready to be the premier sniper he can be for the team.

It's just that Lemaire doesn't want his charges to think Gaborik will be like Mighty Mouse - come and save the day for all of them.

'NOT AT HIS BEST'

"I hope they will feel the same things (as other games), trying to play as hard as they can, not rely on Gabby," he said prior to last night's clash between the Wild and Calgary Flames. "I don't want anyone to rely on Gabby, not right now. He's not at his best because he hasn't played a game for a long time.

"It's going to take a little time before all the adjustments that he needs to do go through in the game. You can see in practice. Shooting the puck, he's not as accurate. I know Gabby and what he can do."

Gaborik returned last night after missing 27 games due to a "lower body" injury most believe was yet another groin problem. The Wild's all-time scorer - he scored the first goal in franchise history, which was assisted by Scott Pellerin and Jim Dowd - played only two games this season before going down.

QUAD PROBLEM

He also missed most of training camp due to a quadriceps problem.

"Yeah, I'm a little bit nervous," he said after the morning skate. "I haven't played for a while. I'm looking forward to this. It's a big game, first time we've played Calgary, so it's going to be a physical game."

Heading into the Calgary clash, the Wild were struggling, losers of five straight and with only five goals in that swoon.


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