Go time for Gomez
With a proven playoff pedigree that includes a pair of Stanley Cups from his days with the Devils, Gomez specializes in hockey played from the spring onward. In other words, seeing him catch fire down the stretch should come as a surprise to no one.
After a relatively pedestrian start to his Canadiens career with only 11 points in his first 23 games as a Hab, Gomez has been rolling since then with 39 points in his last 41 games.
“I’m feeling good right now, but maybe I was just playing that bad at the beginning of the year. To tell you the truth, Brian [Gionta] finally pulled his head out of his a— so that’s what actually happened. I blame him for it,” laughed Gomez. “Gio, Benny [Pouliot] and I are really coming together as a line right now. We’re really finding each other out there.
“Am I playing my best hockey right now? I don’t know about that. There was a stretch in high school back home when I had like 30 points in 10 games or something,” smirked Gomez who is clearly looking as comfortable as he ever has since landing in Montreal in the offseason.
All joking aside, Gomez feels it’s no accident that the Canadiens appear to have finally turned a corner.
“I think it also comes down to having most of our guys back healthy so we’re beginning to find out what this group is really capable of. I can also tell you this is a really tight bunch of guys,” said Gomez on the heels of amassing a three-point for the 32nd time of this career.
The Olympic break has clearly done him a world of good, with Gomez having piled up eight points in five games since the league’s 17-day hiatus.
There could be another reason why Gomez has been en fuego of late; Gomez has missed the playoffs only once over his 10-year NHL career and that was eight years ago with the Devils. Nearly a decade later, he has no intention of reliving that experience.
“It seemed like we just couldn’t catch a break there for the longest time this season. As soon as someone came back healthy, another guy would go down,” recalled Gomez. “We really stuck together through the tough stretches and we’re stronger now because of it.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com.
Habs keep rolling
The Numbers game - March 9, 2010