The Tampa Bay Lightning have experienced some severe highs and lows in the last decade or so, but they’ve always been able to rely on Martin St. Louis. Even if he’s often overshadowed and under-hyped.
At 38, it’s likely that the small star’s best days are behind him. At least, that’s the conventional wisdom, yet with the 2013 Art Ross Trophy in his back pocket, he might have a few more prolific seasons in him.
It all begs the question, then: is St. Louis generating a Hall of Fame caliber career?
Some arguments for St. Louis
He’s taken the Hart Trophy once, the Art Ross twice, won a Stanley Cup and captured three Lady Byng trophies.
St. Louis should finish his career with well over 1,000 points. He currently has 912 in 979 games.
The sprite-like star has been huge in the playoffs, collecting 68 points in 63 career postseason contests.
He’s been remarkably durable, as well. St. Louis played every game in 2013, and appeared in all 82 regular season games from 2006-07 to 2010-11, missing five in 2011-12. You never know when it comes to injuries, but that indicates that he’ll be able to stay on the ice and continue to rack up points.
He has the great back story of being an undrafted free agent turned MVP.
A few counterpoints
Few view him as one of the absolute best players in the NHL, at least if they’re limited to just a handful of choices.
While the Lightning won a Cup and experienced a few deep runs, they’ve also missed the playoffs by a mile multiple times.
It’s possible that St. Louis could play quite a few more seasons, but even so, it’s entertaining to ponder his Hall of Fame credentials. Vote in the poll below and feel free to elaborate on your reasoning in the comments.
It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.
As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?
If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.
Jarret Stoll: "our penalty kill let us down tonight." #mnwild
Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.
Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.
The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.
Pominville: "It's been a while since we showed that much fight. As long as we keep fighting…we'll find our way out of this."
Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.
The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.
You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.
At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.
Niklas Hjalmarsson: "Yeah, that was a big win for us. Corey was unbelievable, as usual." #Blackhawks
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.
Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak
The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.