Of course Scott Gomez expects to be booed tonight. If he didn’t, there would be something wrong.
I asked the Rangers new center if he had consulted with Jaromir Jagr about trying to play through boos every time he touches the puck. But then I realized he probably shouldn’t: Jagr has never reacted well, and has disappeared for periods on end whenever he returns to Pittsburgh.
As for the curious experience of returning to the Devils’ home rink, it’s obviously not as odd as it would be if he were returning to Continental Airlines Arena (which is now known as the Izod Center, another incongruous pairing of team and corporate sponors) where he spent the early part of his career.
“That was my home. That’s where I grew up,” Gomez said. “But I’m not a part of this at all. This is just a nice new building. Aside from looking up at the banners, there’s really nothing new.”
Plus, for Gomez there’s the Sean Avery factor. With Avery expected to draw his own wrath from Devils fans, Gomez may not get the full treatment tonight. But there’s always the next game…
It’s a pretty special building, although the press box goes from being one of the best in the NHL at Continental (about 25 rows up from ice level) to somewhere so high, I’m worried about getting hit by a plane landing at the nearby airport.