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.
Capitals defeat Blue Jackets in clash of Metropolitan Division powers
WASHINGTON (AP) T.J. Oshie scored the shootout winner as the Washington Capitals overcame a stellar performance from Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to beat the Blue Jackets 2-1 Thursday night.
Despite 44 saves from Bobrovsky, the Capitals reached 104 points and extended their lead atop the Metropolitan Division and NHL standings. Oshie engendered memories of his Sochi Olympic shootout performance by again beating Bobrovsky, the goalie he scored on four times in six chances that day.
Dmitry Orlov finally cracked Bobrovsky early in the third period on Washington’s 35th shot of the game. Orlov’s goal tied the score after Seth Jones beat Braden Holtby on a wild scramble early in the third for his first goal since Feb. 7.
Holtby had 29 saves in regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout to pick up his 38th victory of the season, one shy of Bobrovsky for the league lead.
A showdown between two of the top three teams in the league jockeying for position atop the Metropolitan Division lacked a playoff feel. But the matchup of two likely Vezina Trophy finalists lived up to that billing as Bobrovsky and Holtby went back and forth with big saves.
Bobrovsky entered the night first in wins, goals-against average and save percentage with Holtby second, second and third in those categories. The 2013 Vezina winner could also be an MVP contender this season given his value to Columbus’ third playoff berth in franchise history.
“When he’s in his game it’s very hard to score on him,” said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who had eight shots stopped by one of his Russian national teammates. “He likes the big moments, he likes pressure. His worth ethic is unbelievable. … In my opinion he’s one of the best goalies in the league right now.”
Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby clash
The National Hockey League has announced it will make a “special announcement” at the LeSports Center in Beijing, China next Thursday.
In January, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly made it clear the NHL has interest in playing games in China — likely starting out with pre-season games before potentially adding in some regular season contests in the future, as well.
Just after the league made its announcement on Thursday, the L.A. Kings tweeted out that they will participate in next week’s event, along with the Vancouver Canucks.
But they responded with three unanswered goals, including this beauty from Sean Couturier.
Philadelphia took over for a 3-1 victory, with Mason making 24 saves on 25 shots, as Minnesota’s struggles continue. The Wild still sit second in the Central Division but have only two wins in their last 10 games and were unable to secure a playoff spot Thursday.