Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Scott Gomez

Scott Gomez had a very poor season last season for the Montreal Canadiens, and he was the first to admit it in a post-mortem season interview. Much of the disappointment stems from his poor production, having only notched seven goals and adding 31 assists.

Fans have been criticizing Mr. Gomez for not shooting enough, while others say his shot is so weak he should never shoot and must pass instead. He also had a very poor faceoff win percentage.

I believe that Mr. Gomez can get back on track by rededicating himself to his physical fitness. Being in shape will take care of a lot of the shooting and faceoff problems Mr. Gomez was having.

To have a good shot you need to be able to bend your stick, you need upper body strength.

In the faceoff circle, hand-eye coordination and reflexes aren’t all you need. You need to have upper-body strength so your stick isn’t casually pushed aside or batted away. You need total body strength, and especially in the legs and core, if your sticks are locked up and now you need to push your opponent and kick the puck back with your skate.

You need cardio and muscular endurance so you’re not fading at the end of your shift, of the period, and of the game, as well as the second game in back-to-backs.

A report from Montreal radio station CKAC shows Mr. Gomez hard at work in the gym back home in Alaska, and explains that he paid for the Canadiens' strength and conditioning coach to fly over to ensure he is following his assigned program properly. Personally, I hope he’s not in Alaska all summer, that he takes a few weeks to go train with Mr. Cammalleri or Subban or Gionta, since it’s hard to stay motivated and really push yourself when you’re alone in the gym, but this is a noteworthy effort on his part.

If Mr. Gomez trains hard , I believe he will have more zip on his shot, he will trust it more and will surprise goalies instead of lofting wobbly creampuffs at them. This will make him a much more complete, less predictable player who is harder to defend. He might feel more confident along the boards and he won’t be manhandled in the faceoff circle either.

Mr. Gomez returning to form would bode well for the Canadiens' prospects this season. As the #2 centre and a player assigned lots of icetime by coach Jacques Martin, his production is critical to the team's success.

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