Suddenly, St. Louis looks like the star he’s always been

189

Here’s my column on the revival of Martin St. Louis in this series:

By Rick Carpiniello

NEW YORK – You heard it, the Rangers heard it. Martin St. Louis surely heard it.

Things like “Martin St. Dionne.” And “Martin St. Robitaille.” All the, “Here we go again” stuff from fans who have seen, oh, six or eight or more aging former superstars come to the Rangers and fizzle, if not retire.

He became a Ranger at the trade deadline, in a deal that was both expensive and polarizing. The Rangers sent to Tampa Bay their captain, Ryan Callahan, who terribly overplayed his contract demands, plus a first-round draft pick and a conditional second-rounder that could become a first if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference final.

For a 39-year-old. Despite his gray playoff beard, nobody thought St. Louis was toast. But nobody thought that of Marcel Dionne, Luc Robitaille, Bobby Carpenter, heck, Ken Hodge, until they became Rangers.

Then St. Louis scored one goal in 19 games as a Ranger. One. This from a guy who won his second NHL scoring title just last season, and had 29 goals and 61 points in 62 games for Tampa this season.

When I asked him before the playoffs if he felt like it was a fresh start, he sounded irritated. He said he felt fine at the end of the season.

But you know what? This has indeed been a fresh start for St. Louis, who has been every bit a superstar (two goals plus a wrongly disallowed goal in Game 5, and a team-high six points) in the first-rounder against Philadelphia, which goes to Game 6 Tuesday with the Rangers up 3-2.

“I could sit here and sound like a genius and tell you I knew this was going to happen, but I never really thought it wouldn’t happen,” his close friend and Tampa Cup-winning teammate Brad Richards said.
“When you hear some of the stuff around, like, ‘Can he do this, or is he’ … I don’t even know what was being said. But if you know him long enough, even if you don’t know him, if you just watched hockey the last five years, you knew that it’s going to happen.

“If you ask him, he probably feels like a totally different person than he did three weeks ago.”

The trade can’t be a bad one if St. Louis produces. St. Louis was the best player available at the deadline, and the Rangers got him. His contract is reasonable (one more year at $5.625M). While the Rangers surely could use more players with Callahan’s attributes, especially in the playoffs, six years and more than $6 million per was too much. Besides, St. Louis is a battler, too. And if the second-rounder becomes a first? Well, what team wouldn’t give up a first-round pick for a chance to reach the Cup final?

St. Louis will have almost certainly be responsible for that happening, if it does.

“It’s contagious,” Richards said. “He brings people along. That’s not just what he brings on the ice as far as making plays. That’s what he brings as a player and a person. There’s a reason why he wins a scoring race when he’s 38 years old – because he works and he plays the right way.

“We’re in a playoff (together) again, and it’s hard to believe it was 2007 or 2008 the last time we were in the playoffs together. It feels normal. It’s fun to be back and talking hockey and talking playoffs and trying to figure how to win.”

Twitter: @RangersReport

Photo by Getty Images.

 

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189 Comments

  1. St. Louis has always been a winner. He hasn’t lost anything. As for Nash, the best you can say about him is that he’s not yet Wade Redden revisited or worse Ken Hodge but right now he’s just showing that he’s good on the PK and a third liner at best who might chip in with a goal in the playoffs or maybe not.

  2. Ugh….couldn’t make the chat with Dave Maloney…will there be reprecussions? Will the Captain be back? Did someone ask him if he turned down the chance for that tricycle motorcycle commercial that Messier is hawking? The open road…wind in your hair one….looks like a cycle for senior citizen..as we age..I guess we start adding wheels back on our transport vehicles. I have just one comment…I am sure everyone is thinking it…that is dont look past the Flyers at the Pens….and while we think that…look how they almost blew a three goal lead…..time for an homage to Airplane…with all this tension…looks like I picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue…LGR…and find me The Kreider!

  3. Let’s weather the storm early and finish em off. Don’t let the flyers hang around. Let’s go rangers!

  4. Carp gets a match penalty for mentioning Ken Hodge in a article…..what the bejesus is wrong with you?

  5. Philly looking for any edge it can get tonight, will try to conjure up its old intimidating past by wearing throwback slacks

    Could be a new NHL marketing trend

  6. Matty"BackInGoodOleUSA!!"Boy on

    Claude: “I’m not shaking your hand.”

    MAZ: ” I could’t reach it, anyway. No worries!. Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”

  7. Sioux-per-man on

    Rangers in 6, the best road team in the league wins tonight!

    Or the team that is the most desperate wins tonight???

    Perhaps Carp is calling out St Louis to lead this team to victory tonight!!!

  8. Good one, Matty. LGR! Yeah, get it done tonight…hope it’s just the adjustment period for MSL, nice to hear he feels comfortable now and is ready to produce, on the ice. Somehow, I really do not want to know what BR has to say about MSL or anyone else on this team, but it does make news.

  9. Good morning, boneheads!

    Missed Dave’s charp too yesterday, darn it! But read it and enjoyed. Would love for him to do another one. Anyone else can do it, Carp?

    Columbus should be proud of their season, nobody thought they’d be able to get this far in a new format. They will get better. They almost came back last night. MAF certainly didn’t erase any doubts about himself so far. In his head including. Could be an interesting second round. Let’s hope it’s against NY.

    Speaking of doubts. The Flyers certainly have their doubts about themselves, even though they sound optimistic, they know they’ve been outplayed. It doesn’t help when the local media says that either. So if the Rangers come out swinging and break their defense early, it could be over fast. Is Hal Gill playing again, does anyone know?

  10. MSL is much better defensively than I though, by the way. He is playing like a true star, both ends of the ice, showing his leadership.

  11. I don’t think anyone REALLY doubted we got the best player in that trade, hearts have a hard time letting go of someone so beloved as Cally was though.

    Strong playoff showing has a way of dulling that pain.

  12. That’d be good. And the ‘heads limited their g(j)ibberish too. Although, I understand a couple of questions didn’t go through because of ..umm.. limited time?

  13. Still some outstanding g(j)ibberish, and some very funny questions Dave stayed for about an hour and fun with it.

  14. agreed ilb, was more commenting on the dissent here on the board at the time of the trade by a vocal few

  15. Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast or Miller or Carcillo or Fast?

  16. Carp: Maybe you can get Joe Micheletti to do one so we can ask in depth question about players thighs and families?

  17. _draxen- Callahan was gone anyway, it has nothing to do with MSL_

    C’mon, it still does. If MSL doesn’t ask out and we don’t get MSL, are we still trading Callahan off the roster?

  18. I have no doubt, MisterD. Once his demands became unreachable, he was gone. Sather said as much, he had another offer for Callahan.

  19. @dkristo7 Nothing like hearing ironic by alanis morissette on the way to the rink in the morning! Banger to get the day going

    ******************************************************

    Looks like Sioux’s boy is REALLY stepping it up!

  20. Picked a terrible time to get sick…missed the Dave Charp, but like everyone, enjoyed the responses.

    Belated WBM (c)

    0) Boyle
    1) Richards
    2) Nash
    3) Stralman
    4) Stepan
    5) J Moops

  21. Stranger Nation on

    Will Lumbus be a perennial ‘tough out’ like Senators were and Blues are now? Tough rugged players, but not enough scoring up front.

    Thought the Blues’ D was the best in the west..time will tell now

  22. ILB

    Looks like Gustafson in tonight instead of gill.

    I go carcillo on the road instead of miller. If at home I go miller.

  23. _I have no doubt, MisterD. Once his demands became unreachable, he was gone. Sather said as much, he had another offer for Callahan._

    I never want to know what that was. Ever.

  24. SN- JD is out there now. If the ownership allows him to spend a little bit more, they may be able to add more scoring. They also have to think what to do with Horton, who hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and RJ, who hasn’t been producing.

  25. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    I agree. Cally was gone, when he turned down $37M. At that point Sather was cutting bait.

    Marty was the best player out there to make this team better. Part of me thinks Sather didn’t want to give up a conditional 2nd round pick, that Marty will make a 1’st, but for that to happen they have to get through the Penguins, and the Flyers TONIGHT.

    There isn’t a bonehead in here, that would NOT make that deal if we have a shot to go to the Stanley Cup this year. With Marty scoring goals and leading the way.

    Who knows maybe HE can wake up the FLASH inside of NASH, before it’s all over.

    #LGR

  26. Special thanks to carp and manny for nbc sports app. The rest in hotel threw me out at 11:30. Was able to watch kings final period in half on computer.

    If tonight game goes to double overtime I will close the rest. No way leaving at 11:30 tonight.

  27. Suppose to be a group dinner Tom night. If there game 7 what’s my excuse for bailing. Sick? Too much work. It’s kind of mandatory so I need excuses ideas.

  28. Apparently I predicted the Rangers would win this series in *6* which means WE ARE DOOMED TO LOSE TONIGHT

  29. _I dunno Mister D, I’d wanna know i think_

    Moulson drew 2 2nds, so you figure Callahan is around there, right? Or a 2nd + a bottom 6 roster player if he was going out west? So you add those picks or player + pick plus a 1st plus a 1st/2nd as the true cost of MSL and it just makes you want to barf, doesn’t it? He’s playing great now, but a great cheeseburger doesn’t mean you pay $40 for it.

  30. MisterD- I don’t really care. Loved Callahan when he was here. Loved him. Do not blame him for going after whatever he could get financially. But for some reason I lost my interest in terms of what may happen to him after this season as soon as he said he liked the tax break in Florida.

  31. We can’t play this game knowing we have a cushion of a 7th game. We have to play this games as if it were our last. Besides we need the rest. I have tickets but man I don’t want to go. Great post on St Louis Carp. St Dionne what a bust that was. Good old Espo and his jackass moves.

  32. ILB, what if Callahan came back, lets even say at “Sather won” terms? I’d dance. Like a really happy, like-nobody-is-watching dance even if people are watching.

  33. _We can’t play this game knowing we have a cushion of a 7th game._

    AV: “If we lose tonight, we’re jumping on a train and we have to play again in less than 24 hours with our season on the line. But if we win tonight … WE’RE GOING TO PAT’S FOR CHEESESTEAKS!!! MY TREAT!!!”

    [_locker room breaks into raucous applause_]

  34. Can’t argue how good Duguay looks for his age but having said that, someone needs to tell him it’s 2014!!!

  35. Manny Your right JT Miller has to start. Great speed and offensive grit. Works well with Richards and speedster Hags. Does anybody have any form of update on the Kreider????

  36. Eric, try this one…..

    “I’m a serial killer and I’m feeling extra angry right now”

    Works for me, every time.

  37. Cally’s value has been greatly reduced. If I were he I’d fire my agent. What dumb ass advice. If we could get him back lets give 4.5-5 mill for 3 years. This is the price one pays for gross over-evaluation.

  38. unfortunately there will be one dumb GM out there that will give Callahan 6 years at 6+ million.

  39. _Eric, try this one…..

    “I’m a serial killer and I’m feeling extra angry right now”

    Works for me, every time._

    “Fine, fine. If I have to leave, can you atleast get me a knife first? Preferably the sharpest one you have.”

  40. Matty"Rangers in 5!!!"Boy on

    Prust sayin’, but did anyone watch the Penguins last night? Man, do they have a self-confidence issue? Fleurie goes from stone wall to sieve in a flash??

    Sutter…out. Vitale…out… And Sid’s DEFINITELY hurting somewhere in his wheels. He IS not skating well and making some un-SID-like decisions.

    I say, get to Pittsburgh FAST and take advantage.

    Am I getting ahead of myself????

  41. After the win tonight, here’s to hoping these Flyers beat guys are removed from the widget inside of 9 minutes from the whistle.

  42. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    Eric – “Came down with the Flu”

    Nobody wants to catch the flu from you.

    Now, if their is a game 7, and you have a couple of beers, you could call it the bottle flu. See where I’m going with this….

  43. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    _. . . . but a great cheeseburger doesn’t mean you pay $40 for it_

    …. it depends who’s hand you’re eating it out of :)

  44. Matty"Rangers in 5!!!"Boy on

    Does anyone remember what the prediction was on how long THE KREIDER would be out post-surgery? Are we getting close?

    I believe the surger date was March 28th. He played 2 games after the injury.

  45. Matty"Rangers in 5!!!"Boy on

    Eric, I’d go with leprosy. Works every time. :))

    LGR!!! LGR!!! LGR!!!

  46. Who wants to read something weird? Our last series clincher was 5-0 against Washington. Goal scorers, in order …

    Asham
    Pyatt
    MDZ
    Callahan
    Zucc

  47. Matty"Rangers in 5!!!"Boy on

    Rick Nash’s day:

    Checking his PERIcardia, raising a PERIscope, seeing a doctor about potential PERIcrania issues, worrying about PERItonitis. Handling PERInatal issues. Hoping he doesn’t PERIsh. A PERIlous, PERIMETER-like day!!

  48. Stranger Nation on

    The Spirited St. Louis
    2 of my favorite plays in the series is when StL goes into corner on pk and whips a no look pass to Dmen in front of net for easy clear.
    Hockey IQ off the charts
    Just glad his family is happy in Greenwich.

    Richie is now official mouthpiece of the Blue Shirts. Chance he is coming back next season; 70%

  49. There as to be an AHL lifer they can call up to be not as bad as Gill. He’s sooooooo done.

  50. Stranger Nation on

    _Goal scorers, in order, Asham, Pyatt, MDZ, Callahan, Zucc_

    All were off the Rangers in that order if you count Asham not being called up as off the Varsity

    Ipso Facto, deductive Logic says Zucc will not be resigned…

  51. I have to say, even if the boys somehow win The Cup and Richie is a key element of the team, he STILL HAS TO BE BOUGHT OUT!!!!

  52. Right, MD. I don’t pretend to know much about their farm system but it’s great news to me that don’t think they have a better option down there.

  53. _Right, MD. I don’t pretend to know much about their farm system but it’s great news to me that don’t think they have a better option down there._

    Even better, I forgot about Gustafsson, who is a top 180 defenseman but can’t crack the Flyers lineup because he’s small and doesn’t like to hit. What a mess of a franchise they are.

  54. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    It’s like celebrating your “winning” hand, before all the cards are dealt.

  55. I go for the better hockey player, and that’s Miller. Fast would also be fine. The Rangers have gotten away with Carcillo so far, no need to push their luck. Now to keep that thug Hagelin out of the box…

  56. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    _Richie is now official mouthpiece of the Blue Shirts. Chance he is coming back next season-70%_

    Nobody is that dumb!

  57. Leadership award goes to Toews every year until Toews’ first born son starts getting it.

  58. I like the idea of CarBong in Philthy, but, despite his discipline all year, I think he might have scared AV a bit the other night, coming close to losing it and getting an extra 2. Not that I completely blame him – the zebras were ghastly.

  59. Happy Stemkowski Day (April 29, 1971)!

    Let this edition of the NYR pay homage by winning in regulation,
    please.

  60. I go with Miller. That’s after strong advisement from Manny’s *ulcer*
    Gotta close it out tonight.

    No one mentioning that Pittsburgh is waiting for the winner of this series. Wonder who they’d prefer to play?

  61. I’d much rather be in a position to choose between Miller and Carcillo than Gill and Gustafsson. Or Woywitka and Harmlik for that matter.

  62. Have there been any articles by the “proven winner!!!” loving writers about Niemi getting pulled and generally sucking against LA?

  63. 5 on 5 goaltending so far in the playoffs, (5 on 5 shots per 60 in parenthesis) …

    Henrik Lundqvist: 0.969 (26.2)
    Darcy Kuemper: 0.969 (19.0)
    Tuukka Rask: 0.966 (28.7)
    Jimmy Howard: 0.952 (26.1)
    Marc-Andre Fleury: 0.948 (28.3)
    Alex Stalock: 0.93 (31.3)
    Corey Crawford: 0.928 (28.0)
    Sergei Bobrovsky: 0.928 (34.8)
    Semyon Varlamov: 0.927 (31.9)
    Carey Price: 0.922 (25.3)
    Steve Mason: 0.918 (31.1)
    Kari Lehtonen: 0.908 (26.7)
    Ray Emery: 0.899 (31.9)
    Ryan Miller: 0.898 (28.7)
    Frederik Andersen: 0.897 (31.2)
    Antti Niemi: 0.893 (35.2)
    Jonathan Quick: 0.893 (35.0)
    Anders Lindback: 0.886 (35.5)

  64. Lundqvist hasn’t won *anything* yet so he’d better bump that percentage up to .989 if we wants me to consider him a *winner*.

  65. Wow though. Those are interesting. Can you tell us how many minutes each of them has played?

  66. And we’re winning those minutes 11-3. Pretty much the entire difference and then some.

  67. It’s interesting that you bring that up, Mister D a/k/a The Doctor.

    I actually thought Hank’s struggles had to do with him trying to change his approach with rebounds. Before, with Tort, he would try to smother everything. This season I thought he was trying to make saves to throw the puck into an open area where the offense could immediately turn it into offense. I thought he struggled until that became more natural for him.

  68. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    Manny – Good for Darcy. The 3rd string goalie making a splash this year. Reminds me of Hanks first year.

    Good for him.

  69. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    I think they make sense in baseball, but I hate them for hockey. I don’t think you can “Moneyball” hockey into a championship team.

  70. Sioux per HAT TRICK on

    Manny does your Ulcer say it’s Miller time yet?

    I’m getting thirsty. It has to be 5 o’clock somewhere!

  71. I’m an accountant and I like numbers. I don’t think they’re nearly as developed as baseball (or as easy because of all the dependencies), but I like when they can add another layer of understanding or disprove assumptions. Like I got a huge kick out of the whole Leafs/Corsi deal this season between the beat guys and proven right “nerds”.

  72. I dunno, don’t you ever get tired of looking at the same old thing? (Fastball down the middle)

  73. CraigWeather on

    Well, we should all know by now they never make it easy on themselves so I fully expect a loss and game 7 at the Garden Wednesday night.

    Prediction:

    Flyers score a few quick ones… we get 1 back in the 2nd period but they quickly repsond to make it 3-1. We pull Hank and they score the empty netter. Final score, 4-1 Flyers.

  74. Winning a hattrick by picking Malkin to not have an assist seems cheesy in retrospect. I am just one point ahead of the Toothless Icehole, and, needless to say, that’s not a pretty position.

  75. We’ve scored first in every game so we’re due to fall behind early. I am cautiously optimistic. Very very cautious.

  76. Changing my name to cooscoos unless I’m paid off. Thirty dollars in unmarked fifty-dollar bills please.

  77. “I dunno, don’t you ever get tired of looking at the same old thing? (Fastball down the middle)”

    Thanks, Norm, for shoving Carlos Beltran’s 2006 pre World Series ‘strikeout looking’ back into my memory bank. :)

  78. I use fifties in the woods on the golf course when I run out of toilet paper, the NY Times, and ones.

  79. The blatant and omnipresent deficiencies of refereeing tells us that NHL hockey is more of an entertainment venue than a sport.

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