Marty St. Louis: The Ranger
Marty St. Louis is a Ranger. I mean he’s really a Ranger, like the way Mark Messier was a Ranger.
This is not a comparison of the two player’s abilities or their accomplishments in NY, it’s about their heart.
“The Captain” as he’s affectionately known wanted to be a Ranger. Not for the money, not for the fame, but simply to don the sweater. Messier wanted the challenge of being here. He wanted to slay the curse and bring this team a Cup. It is in that ilk that Marty St. Louis is like Messier.
Tampa’s heart and soul has been dreaming of being a Ranger for years. It’s not that he didn’t love the Lightning, same as the way Messier still holds the Edmonton Oilers dear to his heart. Marty just realized he accomplished all he could for the Lightning organization and wanted a new challenge.
Marty St. Louis originally set his sights on the Big Apple in 2009. Brian Lawton was part of the Tampa organization and recalled on Hockey Central, “I can tell you that when I was in Tampa in 2009 right before the trade deadline where Marty was waiting in my office for me and he came in and said that he wasn’t happy and wanted to be traded and wanted to be traded to one team which was the New York Rangers.”
It’s no secret that Marty’s wife is from the Northeast and they have a home in Connecticut, but he wanted to play only for NY. After his Rangers debut he told reporters, “I know this is going to be a challenge for me, but I love challenges and I like to rise to the occasion. This is a chance to play the game in one of the biggest markets, and I know what comes with it.”
Of course, it wasn’t easy as St. Louis struggled mightily since the deadline acquisition. He notched only 1 goal…I repeat, 1 goal. It’s mind blowing when you think about it. He’s been one of the more prolific scorers for a decade in this league. I guess he was waiting for the “challenge”.
The playoffs rolled around and something clicked. He seemed quicker, his passes were crisper and his shots were more accurate. Marty opened the first round with 2 goals and 4 assists. Things were looking up. Then the rug was pulled.
In the 2nd round, the Penguins grabbed a 3-1 series lead. The Rangers were shutout twice in the process, the season was about to come crashing down. New York was looking to rally, and they held a closed door meeting before heading to Pittsburgh for game 5. It was then that St. Louis’ real world was rocked.
France St. Louis unexpectedly passed away. With a heavy heart, Marty left his teammates to be with his family and to say goodbye to his mother. His status for an elimination game was highly in doubt. His father spoke with him, and said his mother would want him to play. The Rangers organization took care of all the details going and coming back.
Marty walked into the arena and lifted the spirits of his team. Playing for their right to keep the Cup dream alive and for their beloved teammate, the Rangers pummeled the Penguins, 5-1. Game 6 was on Mother’s Day, hearts were heavy all around and Marty’s father, sister and wife were in the stands. The home crowd showered him with love and chants of “Mar-ty, Mar-ty!”
Then it happened, his definitive Rangers moment. Straight out of a Hollywood script, St. Louis opened up the scoring with a goal that magically deflected off his body. It was as if his mother was looking over her little boy, one last time. The Rangers would force game 7 and St. Louis delivered “the speech” that will define these playoffs and his entire Rangers career. “I couldn’t be prouder to be a F*cking New York Ranger!”
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ0zWOWrww4″]Game Seven Highlights – [/su_youtube]
The Blueshirts would go on to defy their history and complete a comeback down from 3 games to 1 for the first time ever. They also beat a team they’ve never defeated in their history in the Penguins, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Marty St. Louis is still going and has now put the Rangers within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals. He has 3 goals and 2 assists in these first 4 ECF games. His latest was an OT winner at MSG. When asked about it, he answered “It’s our turn.”
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdz0dbh3_mY”]Game Seven Highlights – [/su_youtube]
These playoffs are far from over and if they can advance to the Finals, the Rangers will be big underdogs. The Chicago Blackhawks and LA Kings are considered the cream of the crop and the winner will be the eventual champs. However, when Messier was a Ranger they were always considered a threat in the playoffs, based on his heart and will to win. As the Rangers progress, St. Louis is showing the Blueshirts the way.
Marty St. Louis’ heart and desire are reminiscent of “The Captain’s” passion. This has been an unexpected and magical ride so far. It’s a ride led by the man who wanted to be a Ranger. The man who is a F*cking New York Ranger.