Scott Gomez’ body language and facial expressions while he answered questions from the press after getting chewed out by Coach Ladouceur speak more clearly than any of the rehearsed verses he doled out.
When answering tough questions like: “…is your heart still into it?”, or words to that effect, he touched his face a couple of times, a ‘tell’ that poker players and police officers use to determine if someone is being deceitful. His expression was also frozen. His speech was flat and monotone, no energy or emphasis on certain words or sentences. Further, he gave a 200 word circumlocution to that question, instead of a clear, straighforward: “Absolutely, yes.”
His explanation that the dustup was an indicator that there was still energy and passion and drive on the team is pure malarkey with respect to him. If he had fire and passion, he, a veteran, experienced player, the highest-paid on the team, would be focusing on the drill instead of messing it up. If a Russian rookie screws up, that’s understandable, but there is no excuse for Mr. Gomez to do so, regardless of his flippant approach that it’s not the first time and not the last that a coach will yell at a player.
Final point is that for a coach to dress down a veteran in front of everyone else takes a lot. Unless you’re dealing with Mike Keenan or Bill Parcells, the vets get a lot of leeway, they’ve built up a lot of credit over the years. Normally they don’t get publicly humiliated. Let’s think about our work places. While they are very different than a pro hockey team, what would it take for one of you, or if you’re relatively junior, one of the more senior, trusted employees to get screamed at? It would take a major mistake that came on the heels of many others.
So please, Mr. Gomez, instead of trying to brush it off, why don’t you take responsibility, stop being so glib, get the motor mouth back in first gear, state that you screwed up and that you’ll try harder, and then go ahead and do so.