Martin St. Louis has spent his entire career defying expectations. His career began in the late 90′s AKA the Dead Puck Era, when NHL general managers preferred their players to be at least six feet tall and draped in heavy muscles.
Despite that, at 5-foot-8 (a generous listing), St. Louis emerged as one of the three best players on the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Now, after having been traded by the team that took a chance on him all those years ago, St. Louis appears to be spreading that defiant magic to a New York Rangers squad that stands one win away from playing for the Stanley Cup.
His overtime game winning goal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals put his Rangers up 3-1 in their series against the Montreal Canadiens.
It should come as no surprise that the goal came on a shot that, according to coach Alain Vigneault, St. Louis practices 50 times a day.
His shot came from the right faceoff dot and slipped past rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski’s short side for the goal. It also should surprise no one that to this day, St. Louis works that hard to hone his game.
He knows he’ll only have so many more chances in his career to get this far so don’t expect Martin St. Louis to waste a second.
That urgency and defiance has fueled not only St. Louis in his team-leading efforts, it’s fueled the entire New York Rangers squad..