It finally happened. Last night, Martin St. Louis scored his first goal as a member of the New York Rangers.
It capped off the game against the Vancouver Canucks, coming shorthanded and with an assist by Rick Nash. It took 15 games for St. Louis to put the puck in the back of the net. He admitted to feeling the pressure, and he was holding his stick a little tight looking for that first one. It hasn’t been the best of starts for the former Tampa Bay Lightning star, yet with this goal, expect much more to come.
St. Louis has only registered that lone goal and three assists in his 15 games as a Ranger so far. Not the most explosive start, yet every player has struggled to adjust to Alain Vigneault‘s style, including stars such as Nash and Henrik Lundqvist. After a high-energy debut for St. Louis, he has struggled to find space against opponents, yet his shorthanded goal should get fans excited.
Everyone knows what St. Louis is capable of. He was without his center Steven Stamkos for almost the entire year in Tampa Bay, yet still led the team on offense and posted close to a point per game. 29 goals and 61 points don’t just magically appear. St. Louis was constantly facing top defenders and managed to post those numbers. He is a unique talent and while undersized, he makes up for that with his speed, hockey IQ and stick skills.
Look for St. Louis to use this goal as a building block towards the rest of the year and the postseason. He will be a crucial part of the Rangers’ success in the playoffs as he is one of their top skill players. Having him alongside Nash, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello gives the Rangers scoring threats on each of their top three lines, a big part of postseason success.
This was a big goal for St. Louis, but it is only just the beginning.