In the two years that center-man Scott Gomez has been a New York Ranger, I have never been able to really like him. It started last season with his inability to put up points, when he registered only two goals and an assist in the entire month of October. Although things got better from there, he never really gelled with anyone, even though it wasn’t completely his fault. The fact that Gomez is getting paid over seven million dollars for the next seven years is ridiculous, and his regular season point totals are that of someone who should be getting paid roughly half of what he is making.
But an old saying goes that the regular season means absolutely nothing. That it’s just practice for what really matters; and that is the playoffs. We see it every season with a certain player that has been a fourth liner his entire career playing five minutes a night that all of a sudden happens to come up big in a playoff game and forever seals his name in the history books. Scott Gomez is by no means a lower tier forward but it seems that he has used the last two regular seasons as a warm up, for when the big dance starts in mid April.
Amongst all his struggles last season including a minor leg injury, Gomez still managed to finish second on the Rangers in playoff scoring with eleven points in ten games; most of which came against his biggest rival and former team the New Jersey Devils. Everyone’s eyes were going to be on the center from Alaska, watching how he would perform under more pressure then he had ever faced. Would he collapse or would he triumph? After scoring seven points in the five game series, you tell me.
It seems that “Gomer” has started off these playoffs well too. It has only been one game but I liked what I saw Wednesday against Washington. Gomez used his most valuable asset, his speed, to power through the neutral zone and create chances while trying to set up his teammates. His speed also directly led to the first Ranger goal where he powered past the Capital’s defenseman for a mini-breakaway goal against the bewildered Jose Theodore. He would go on to register two assists in the game and finish with a three point night; after only having two three-point games in seventy seven games he played this season.
In just eleven career playoff games with the Rangers, he has now registered a total of fourteen points. Average that out over an eighty two game season and you get a number around a hundred and fifteen points. Now we will never see those numbers from Gomez ever, and he is still egregiously over paid, but I have to give him credit for coming through when it really matters most, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.