Tag: Martin St. Louis

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Four

St. Louis regains top-line spot with Rangers (Update: Nope)


As interesting a story as Martin St. Louis facing his former team the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs for the first time may be, it won’t be as intriguing if the veteran winger is buried on the third or fourth line.

The 39-year-old found himself off the New York Rangers’ first line for a small chunk of Game 7’s overtime win against the Washington Capitals, but the Bergen Record reports that he’s back with Derick Brassard and Rick Nash.

For now, at least.

St. Louis only has four points in 12 playoff contests so far, a significant slump for a player with 87 points in 100 career postseason games. Still, he believes he’s had some strong moments, especially in the first few games against the Capitals.

“I thought I played some good hockey early on in that series but didn’t get rewarded,” St. Louis said. “Of course, coaches make decisions at key times in the game for whatever reason and I’ve never liked being left on the bench at certain times. But that’s reality. If I liked it, I don’t think I would be here today.”

Between the third period and overtime of Game 7, St. Louis only received about four of his 15 minutes of ice time, as J.T. Miller took his first-line spot. It sounds like St. Louis will get a chance to regain his standing on the top line, yet it’s a situation to watch.

It could be that much more interesting if St. Louis does get demoted, as the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard discusses:

The question if Vigneault reshuffles his lines is where else St. Louis would fit. Dominic Moore’s bump into the top nine with Hagelin and Hayes has helped the forecheck immensely. Stepan’s line with Kreider and Jesper Fast had 13 points against the Caps. St. Louis is not a fourth-line player. It might seem safer to add an offensive element to the fourth line against Tampa than it would have been against Washington, but don’t let this matchup fool you. The Rangers want to make use of their speed, sure, but they don’t want to turn this into a track meet and give the Lightning turnovers in the neutral zone.

Update: St. Louis did not begin the game on the first line.

More on Marty

He won’t be sentimental facing the Bolts

Martin St. Louis wants to retire as a Ranger

St. Louis isn’t sentimental about time with Lightning ahead of Eastern Conference Final


Maybe when it’s all over, Martin St. Louis will sit back and think more about his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But not now. Not while his New York Rangers are up against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final, which begins Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

St. Louis spent almost 13 seasons in Tampa Bay, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2004. The Lightning honored him in his return to Tampa Bay in November.

Last season, however, he requested a trade out of Tampa Bay and was dealt to the Rangers at the deadline, with Ryan Callahan coming back to the Lightning.

It’s a juicy storyline — St. Louis and Callahan facing their former teams — so close to the championship series.

“No, it’s not something I think about right now. Right now it’s a team that’s standing in the way of where we want to go,” St. Louis told reporters on Friday.

“I have a lot of respect for the organization over there and the people there. They treated me really well. It’s not time to reflect on it. It’s time to play playoff hockey.”

St. Louis began his time with the Lightning in the 2000-2001 season, and was just shy of a point-per-game pace when Steven Stamkos, now one of the league’s most prolific scorers, was in his rookie season with Tampa Bay.

On the subject of facing former teammates and whether this situation with St. Louis is different, Stamkos said, “I think we’re all over that, to be honest.”

However, the 25-year-old Stamkos talked openly about the impact St. Louis, now 39 years old, had on his career at a young age.

“He was a guy that took me under his wing since I was 18 years old. We got a chance to play with each other throughout probably just over halfway through my rookie year,” said Stamkos.

“Things obviously went very well. He’s the ultimate competitor, the ultimate professional. I mean, you could go on and on with how well he conducts himself. It was a perfect situation for me to come in and have a guy like him and have a guy like (Vincent Lecavalier) there.”

Callahan on facing Rangers: ‘It’s going to be a lot of emotions’

Ryan Callahan

Ryan Callahan has already resumed skating after his emergency appendectomy surgery on Monday. If he is healthy enough to play, he’ll be going up against the team he used to captain, the New York Rangers, in the Eastern Conference Final.

“It’s going to be a lot of emotions actually going back there for a playoff game, and I’m excited,” Callahan said, per Ottawa Sun. Not that he thinks the Eastern Conference Final could get much bigger regardless of the opponent. At the end of the day this is about fighting to reach the Stanley Cup Final and he would be pumped to face any adversary to get there.

Indeed, Lightning coach Jon Cooper thinks that the rematch between Callahan and former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis, who was moved in the same March 2014 trade, “will mean more externally than it does internally.” Although he can’t help but be one of the many people that’s intrigued by the storyline.

“How often do two captains get traded for each other?” Cooper asked. “And then are going to end up going against each other in the Eastern Conference final? You can’t make that stuff up. It’s a pretty appealing story. So I’m actually interested to see how it’s going to turn out.”

It will be interesting to see if either of them end up being a significant factor offensively in this series. Although Callahan has helped Tampa Bay get this far, he’s also been limited to three assists in 12 playoff contests. St. Louis has just four assists in 12 postseason games.

Either one of them has the potential to tip the scale against their former squad.