BOSTON – Raise your hand if you picked Scott Gomez
in your playoff pool.
To say Gomez had a rough year in the regular season would be an understatement. But despite finishing with a career-low 38 points in 2010-11, the 31-year-old center opened the postseason by proving he didn’t win two Stanley Cups by accident.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this day to come after the season I had,” admitted Gomez after setting up both Habs goals in Thursday night’s win. “I don’t know how to explain it; this is the fun part of the year. The whole hockey world is watching; kids are all watching. The year is over with now and it’s a team effort and a team game and whatever happened in the regular season doesn’t matter.”
Getting his start in the league by winning his first Stanley Cup alongside Scott Stevens and Scott Neidermayer as a curly-haired 20-year-old with New Jersey in 2000, Gomez has never missed the postseason in his 11-year NHL career. With more lifetime playoff points than any other Hab on the roster, it’s no surprise to see Gomez at his play-making best when the springtime comes around.
“It’s always been about wins for me. Especially now that I’m one of the older guys, it’s part of the game and part of the lesson. I don’t know if you guys get it now, but the individual stuff really doesn’t matter to me,” he underlined. “It’s always fun to win. If anything, my job is to get it to Gio [Brian Gionta
] and he put them in.”
Setting the table for Gionta is also nothing new for the Anchorage native, who won his second Cup alongside the current Habs captain with the Devils in 2003.
“Gomer’s a great player and he’s going to come up big when we need him,” explained Gionta, who notched a career-high 48 goals while flanking Gomez in 2005-06. “That’s why everybody on the team and in the room believes in him. He’s gone through some difficulties this year, but he’s playing great. That’s what we expected out of him.”
It’s also what Gomez was expecting from himself, but he also knows they don’t hand out Cup rings after Game 1.
“It’s just one game and it starts all over tomorrow,” he explained. “We still have to go over some things and make some adjustments. Anytime you can take one on the road in the playoffs is big but it only gets harder from here.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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