ICYMI, Henrik Lundqvist tonight was fined $5,000 by the NHL Player Safety department for his dangerous and wreckless (sarcasm) water squirt on Sidney “Slew Foot” Crosby after Crosby started a Game 6 fracas by spearing Dominic Moore in the, um, onions.
Lundqvist spends more than that on his haircuts. That’s not the point. The water squirt was about the 157th worst thing that occurred in Game 6, a nasty game (Crosby also touched off a post-game melee by cheap-shotting Brian Boyle then hiding behind the linesman).
That’s not the point either. So much crap goes on in the NHL, and this is really what NHL Player Safety is worried about? Really?
So, Lundqvist water squirt: $5,000.
Ray Emery assault on Braden Holtby (or any other assault): $0.
NHL Player Safety: Priceless.
Because the links apparently started to fail in the blog post earlier today, here’s my column on Martin St. Louis:
By Rick Carpiniello
NEW YORK – If you didn’t get goosebumps, you are not human. Or you’re from Pittsburgh.
The puck went off Martin St. Louis’ shin pad, probably one of the least attractive goals he’s scored in a career loaded with breath-takers.
St. Louis backed into the boards in the corner after the puck had squeezed in behind goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and pumped his fists a couple of times — and up and down your arms and on the back of your neck, there were chills running sprints.
“When Marty scored that goal, it was such a beautiful moment,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “I got really emotional to watch that, to see him and what he’s been through. I think the entire team (was) feeding from that moment, and the entire building.”
This was so much more than Game 6 for St. Louis, soon to turn 39, who has seen and done pretty much everything in hockey but had never done this.
He had never played a pair of games like these in his career, in his life.
And let’s not forget, just last Wednesday they were booing St. Louis at the Garden, where he had played what he thought was one of the worst games of his life. Couldn’t do anything, he said over and over, after the Rangers’ absolute stinker put them on the brink of elimination.
That, it turned out, wasn’t the low point of his week.
The following day, as the Rangers landed in Pittsburgh, St. Louis got word that his mother, France, had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 63. St. Louis got off that plane, got on another one to be with his family in his native Montreal.
His father, Normand, and sister, Isabelle, convinced him that France would want him to play Game 5. So St. Louis got on another flight to Pittsburgh. There, before the game, St. Louis was consoled by Sidney Crosby.
The Rangers, playing with emotion for their heavy-hearted new teammate, won the game, one of their best of the season. A moving hug by teammate Derick Brassard toward the end of the game was a YouTube sensation. St. Louis was the last Ranger on the ice, hugging every one of his brothers. Marc Staal presented him the Broadway Hat, which usually goes to the star of the game.
St. Louis then returned to Montreal to get Normand and Isabelle and bring them back to New York for Mother’s Day.
St. Louis said that having them here helped “the grieving process.”
And when he scored he scooped up the puck, to give to his father.
“It’s a puck,” he said, “that’s got a significance for everybody that’s been supportive of me and my family.”
He didn’t look up to the stands because he was trying to focus on the enormity of the game.
“I’ll talk to them after the game,” St. Louis said. “I couldn’t be happier for them to be here on a special day throughout a pretty tough time for me.”
On his first shift, the boos of Wednesday had turned into a hardy “Marty, Marty, Marty” chant.
Then 3:34 into the game, Derek Stepan won a battle with Kris Letang and got the puck to Anton Stralman for a shot. Stepan batted the rebound off a Pittsburgh defender, and there was St. Louis, in the right spot.
Surely France smiled as the puck caromed off his leg and past Fleury. The Rangers beat the Penguins, St. Louis was named the game’s first star, and now he gets on another plane.
“I know she helped me through this,” St. Louis said.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Photo by The Associated Press.