Gomez to travel with Habs
“I’m happy that I’m going to be traveling with the team. I haven’t laced up my skates in a few days and had a little time to heal, so we’ll take another look tomorrow in the pre-game and make the decision then,” expressed the Habs’ center, who left Tuesday’s game against the Senators early in the second period with an unspecified lower-body injury.
“I’ve been in the league a while now, and I know this is the kind of thing you want to be careful with,” continued Gomez when questioned on the severity of his injury. “How you deal with something like this can mean the difference between missing a couple of days, or missing a couple of months. You just have to take the right precautions.”
With 11 NHL seasons under his belt, Gomez has come to understand that sometimes the desire to play every game has to take a second-seat to common sense.
“When I was younger, I played with guys that never had any excuses for not jumping on the ice, whether it was a Randy McKay or a Scott Stevens,” explained Gomez of his former Devils teammates. “You play regardless of the pain. But there are some injuries that you’re just stupid if you ignore and try to play through. The playoffs are an entirely different story. I’ve always been lucky enough to be part of teams who had a good idea where they were going to find themselves in the standings.”
Gomez’s opinions were also supported by veteran forward Travis Moen.
“Some of the smaller injuries are the ones that hurt the most and cause you the most problems,” confessed Moen. “It’s tough, you don’t want some of those injuries to get worse. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to push things too much and play.”
Having proved himself over the course of his career in the NHL, Gomez expressed that a player’s maturity can often be the deciding factor on whether they play injured.
“When you’re younger, you just launch yourself in head-first no matter what, and sometimes the only thing that ends up happening is that you make things worse,” said the Canadiens’ No.11. “Now that I’m bit more of a veteran, I think I’m a lot better at gauging those kinds of situations. When I can play, I play, and when I can’t, I don’t.”
While Gomez may still not be sure if he’ll be game-ready for the Red Wings, his equipment will be making the trip with him to Detroit and Toronto. Hopefully it will be put to use.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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