Marian Gaborik turned and knocked twice on the wood that frames his locker, a quick little touch of luck the Rangers winger hopes follows him through this upcoming shortened season more than it did at the end of last.

Gaborik is just more than seven months removed from having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, an injury that quelled his effectiveness during the Rangers' playoff run, which ended after six games in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Devils.

"I feel good. My shoulder feels fine," Gaborik said yesterday, before turning around and giving his quick musical appeasement to the hockey gods. "It's good to get back here and get ready to start playing."

After leading the team in the regular season with 41 goals, Gaborik's shoulder was hurt on a hit into the boards during Game 3 of the first-round series against the Senators. He finished 20 postseason games with five goals, and yesterday at the MSG Training Facility in Westchester was the first time Gaborik was back with what was close to his full team. The only players missing were Jeff Halpern (whose wife just had a baby) and Michael Haley.

"It's going to be a hard 10 days until we start, but everybody has to get ready and jump into it," Gaborik said following the third players-organized skate since the new collective bargaining agreement was reached in principle Sunday morning. "I think everybody is in the same spot, so we just have to make sure we work hard."