Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If Gomez Were Gomez Apologist

Today, we have a "revelation" of a headline following Dave Stubbs interview with Scott Gomez:
Montreal Canadiens' Scott Gomez looking to bounce back this season
The interview, which I think is sold short by the obvious headline, is very interesting and candid. The interview got me thinking about Scott Gomez.

Thank goodness for instance that Scott Gomez doesn't count himself among those who seem to believe that Scott Gomez didn't do anything wrong last season (or rather did almost everything he could have to help the Canadiens). Those who would rely on the ever equitable waters of luck lapping once more on his shooting blade.
"Normally, Gomez would have charted a path directly home to Alaska, where he enjoys his family and the great outdoors.

Not this summer. He headed to New York and after about one week off he returned to the gym with a personal trainer."
This isn't a guarantee of change, but it's a sign that Scott took action to back up his end of year apology for his form. It's a sign that he's doing what he can (it's unlikely he'll learn to shoot like Ovechkin in this lifetime) to improve in areas of the game where he can. Perhaps he'll get more space at the end of shifts from better fitness, perhaps he'll win a few more battles for position. That in turn may be all the help he and his line needs to turn what were a lot of errant shots into dangerous chances this year.

If Gomez were an apologist for himself like so many, he'd have taken the summer off. He'd be confident in the knowledge that even lifetime 7% shooters won't shoot 4.5% forever. That guys who put up a positive Corsi number should win because they score more goals (at 5:5). He'd rely on his salary to guarantee management wouldn't demote him and his baseline skill to perform the basic duties of a centre better than all but one other available option.

No, Gomez isn't an apologist. He took his apology and did something about not having to issue another one.

The coin flip of shooting luck may well be on his side. But it's good to know he's not counting on it.


Note: I have apologised on Gomez's behalf in the past, but always believed that it was the lack of talent surrounding him that led him to his dead-ends on so many nights. I believe strongly that the option of five wingers ahead of Moen will help, but also that if he ends up playing with Moen or whoever ends up filling the "Pyatt" role again, he'll be looking for that apology speech regardless of Corsi sorting itself out or not.

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