Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guts, Goaltending and Gomez (just like old times)

Scotty Gomez and his team hung on at home against a superior Capitals team. Outshot by a wide margin - Gomez and his mates hung on to win their third game of the series and take Washington to the brink of elimination. Gomez's team was literally saved by their goaltender - who withstood an Ovechkin-led barrage that looked like a shooting gallery at times.

Deja Vu anyone? It was just about a year ago when Gomez played for the Rangers - and we hung on to beat the Ovechkins on home ice and get their 3rd win of the series.

It's 2010 now and Gomez wears a Red Shirt - not a Blue one anymore. He's part of the Montreal Canadiens - one of Hockey's most storied franchises. His star goalie is now Halak - not Lundqvist. But it's got to feel for Scotty a whole lot like last year. Once again his team squeaked into the playoffs and ran into a highly seeded Capitals team.

And once again he's taking them to a 7th game - purely on guts and goaltending. It's got to feel very familiar to the former Ranger. Ranger GM Glen Sather decided to trade away Gomez and his contract last year - using the savings to bring in Marian Gaborik. Gabs responded with a career year for the Rangers - which resulted in.... well, our first non-playoff year in half a decade.

Gomez, on the other hand - plays on. Last night I wouldn’t call him an impact player – he had one shot on goal and one hit in 20 minutes of ice time. He lost 12 of 20 faceoffs. Still – his team won a must game. And tomorrow night - one of two things will happen:

Either - the Capitals will end Gomez’ season in the seventh game of the first round of the playoffs - for the 2nd straight year - or - Scotty will finally gets his revenge on the Caps and advance to the second round.

Even if it is a year too late - you know which way I'll be rooting.
It was nice to hear Ovechkin mention Hank in the post game interview. I didn't get the exact quote - but the Caps star said that his team keeps running into great goalies in the playoffs - including Henrik Lundqvist last year. No argument here Alex.

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