Martin St.Louis Struggling To Adapt In The Big Apple
Ever since the New York Rangers let go of captain Ryan Callahan, some in the fanbase have been in shambles. People found it very difficult to believe that general manager Glen Sather would just let a gritty, hard-working player go in the blink of an eye. However, maybe he had a reason to, because the $6.5 mil that Callahan was asking for was just too much and would have put the Rangers in a tough bind when it comes to re-signing all of their pending free agents.
So Sather did the next best thing, and traded Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning for veteran Martin St.Louis, a solid return for Sather. After this acquisition, the Rangers playoff chances immediately shot up, because they added another scorer to their lineup to complement the abilities of Rick Nash.z
In his first 12 games with a new team in a new city, the 38-year old has found himself with just three assists, and zero goals.
Every time I think about that, I scratch my head. How can a player with the skill and work ethic of St.Louis have no goals over a 12-game stretch? Well, if you count the games against the Blues and the Avalanche prior to the trade, his drought is really at 14 games. Games in which he has averaged about 20 minutes of ice time per contest.
Was this a bad trade? Or is Marty just taking more time to adapt to new surroundings than usual?
An analyst on the NBC Sports Network (Mike Milbury), noted last night that it takes a player about 20 games to get fully accustomed to a new team and new city, but Milbury also thinks that St.Louis needs to snap out of this funk and regain his confidence, because the Rangers are going to need him if they want to go on a deep playoff run come April.
I mean, the forward spent 13 full seasons with the Lightning, and he won a Stanley Cup with them back in 2004. It would take any player a certain amount of time to adjust to a completely different city after spending so much time in another.
But, could there be an underlying problem that none of us can see? The forward has no problem putting the puck in the net, as he has five 30-goal seasons and also one 40-goal season. It’s not like the player isn’t skilled or talented, but does he have a history of cold streaks?
Back in the season of 2011-12, in March, St.Louis had 13 games out of 15 total in which he didn’t score a goal. The season before that, he had 10 games in March where he failed to tally a goal. If you want to go back even further to 2009-10, he had 12 games in March where he did not record a goal.
So, if you take a look at the stats, the history is there. The numbers show it, and usually the numbers never lie. It seems like ole’ Marty has a history of goal droughts in the month of March.
But this is not something we as Ranger fans should fret over. As stated before, he spent the previous 13 seasons with a completely different team in a completely different atmosphere. I am sure he is feeling tremendous pressure right now with the willingness to succeed hanging over him, especially with a team like the Rangers.
Once St.Louis pots that first goal, whether it be a gimme empty netter or a beautiful snipe, more goals will follow, and the floodgates will open for the forward.
As playoff time looms closer and closer with each passing day, the spotlight will be shined brighter on the stars, and that includes St.Louis.