November 21, 2011
That it's "not his job" to do so has been a misconception about him for years; as if he's the hockey equivalent of a baseball pitching machine, auto-programmed to tee'em up but not to knock'em down.
That ignores the fact that (a) Gomez used to average well over 240 shots per season with the New Jersey Devils and (b) unless you're a checking center or a knuckle-bleeding goon, it's your job to score goals now and again as a forward.
(Forget the 33 goals in 2005-06 as further evidence of anything. It's a post-lockout anomaly, like the Stanley Cup Final that season.)
It's less about shying away from scoring goals for Gomez than it is being fairly terrible at it: Seven in 80 games last season with the Montreal Canadiens and zero in 11 games this season. Indeed, it's been a while since Gomez snapped the twine: 40 regular-season games, 47 if you include playoff games.
Yeah, that bad.
Making matters worse, of course, is a $7.357 million cap hit Gomez carries like the plague until 2014, creating speculation that Habs might give him the Wade Redden(notes) treatment in the AHL eventually. (It all traces back to Glen Sather's checkbook, huh?)
Gomez spoke with Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette about the drought, saying:
"This whole thing is surreal to me now. I can't help but think: 'Are you kidding me?'"
You know a streak has reached the point of absurdity when it inspires it's own social media meme … like, for example, #LastTimeGomezScored on Twitter. As in, #LastTimeGomezScored "I would rent DVD's at Blockbuster." Ouch.
What does Gomez think about all of this malarkey? From the Gazette:
"If I worried about what people said about me …" Gomez said with a shrug, leaving the sentence incomplete.
"I basically look at things now like I've played two games feeling pretty good since my return from injury. Taking a faceoff finally doesn't kill my arm."
He even chuckled at the Blockbuster DVD line.
"If you can't laugh about yourself," Gomez said, "then you're an (expletive)."
One wouldn't expect Scott Gomez to take offense.