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.
The Colorado Avalanche’s win streak hits double digits
The Colorado Avalanche won their 10th straight game on Monday night, taking down the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.
Yes, that’s 10 wins by the team that ended last season with an NHL-worst 48 points.
Hockey is wonderful, isn’t it?
The Avalanche have been pretty darn good during that streak, outscoring opponents 41-16 during that span. Scoring four goals per game on average will win you more than it won’t.
And the Avs have had success on the back end. Jonathan Bernier has been completely lights out during the streak. He is on a streak of his own with nine straight wins, becoming the third netminder in franchise history to win nine in a row.
Colorado’s streak is also an NHL-best this season and it’s the second longest streak in Avs history (they won 12 straight during the 1998-99 season).
The Avs are sitting on 57 points, good for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
With Taylor Hall set to miss the next couple of games due to a hand injury, and with that injury putting his All-Star Game prospects in jeopardy, we look at the players who are worthy of replacing the New Jersey Devils forward if he has to miss this weekend’s festivities.
Two names that immediately come to mind are Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel and Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier.
There was already an argument that Kessel deserved to be at the ASG over Sidney Crosby. He was leading the Penguins in points then and two weeks later, he continues to pace Pittsburgh with 21 goals (tied with Evgeni Malkin) and 54 points, three more points than Crosby.
Couturier has already smashed his previous career highs in both goals (26) and points (47). He’s been part of the reason that Claude Giroux is already headed to the ASG and deserves to be there himself.
At third would have to be Sebastian Aho. The talent in the Metropolitan is evident with his snub. He’s clearly the best player on the Carolina Hurricanes this season (no disrespect to Teuvo Teravainen).
Aho is well on his way to eclipsing his rookie-season totals and a big reason why the Hurricanes are three points back of a playoff spot.
Beyond those three guys, there’s a few that certainly deserve the honor:
Anders Lee has 27 goals this season, seven off the pace he set last season with half the season to go.
Jakub Voracek leads the NHL with 45 assists, four more than teammate Giroux.
Evgeni Malkin. Not having a bad year.
It’s important to remember that the at-least-one-player-per-team rule goes out the window when it comes to replacing another All-Star.
There are certainly some very deserving names that didn’t get the first call.