The Scott Gomez Goal Drought in the National Hockey League was a perfect storm of absurdity: a likable player with an impressive offensive résumé, shouldering an elephantine contract and the ridicule of millions, going 368 days between tallies.
It had gotten to the point where even Gomez acknowledged the "surreal" nature of the hex … while admitting that lines like "the last time Gomez scored, I would rent DVD's at Blockbuster" were brutally on point.
Well, add this log to the fire of surrealism:
Did Scott Gomez score in his first game with the ECHL Alaska Aces this season?
"Yeah, I beat four guys and went top shelf,'' he said with a smirk.
In truth, Gomez wasn't even certain he authored the game-winner at Sullivan Arena, where the third-period goal he was credited with proved the difference in a 4-3 ECHL win over the dangerous Colorado Eagles.
… Aces defenseman Corey Syvret partially fanned on his one-timer from the high slot, and as the puck slid slowly forward between the face-off circles, Nick Mazzolini whipped it toward the cage, where Gomez was stationed on the edge of the crease. Gomez wasn't sure the puck hit him before ricocheting past Colorado goaltender Tyler Plante (34 saves), but he said referee Nick Leduc told him it did.
"Who cares?'' Gomez said. "We got the two points.''
That's the spirit of a guy who wants to lead his team to a Kelly Cup this season! Or knows he's getting amnesty clause'd when the lockout's over. One of the two.
Gomez finished last season with the Montreal Canadiens having scored two goals in 38 games, the last one coming on Feb. 17. Alas, the clock is again ticking on Gomer's NHL drought (thanks, lockout), but one can safely assume that he'll tear up the ECHL: In the 2004-05 lockout, Gomez returned to his home state and put up 13 goals and 73 helpers in 61 games for the Aces.
So congrats to Scott Gomez on scoring a goal in his debut, proving the Hockey Gods have a sense of humor. And if you didn't believe that's true, then consider the fact that Aces teammate Brandon Dubinsky is out with a broken hand — playing a continent away from New York Rangers coach John Tortorella, yet still getting injured blocking a shot in the Torts tradition. Oh, Hockey Gods ... why do you smite?