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TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis

Mar 7, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

Martin St. Louis AP

Saturday: Boston at Tampa Bay (7 p.m. ET)

If I were a Lightning fan, I’m not sure which Martin St. Louis quote would bother me the most. Would it be this? “I felt it was time to look out for me” (after Steve Yzerman didn’t originally name St. Louis to Team Canada, as if it was some sort of egregious oversight, which it wasn’t.) Or, would it be this? “It’s not like I’ve played a ton of playoff hockey in the last little while, and as you get older you want to get more kicks at the can.” Tough call there. As much as the woe-is-me routine really rubs the wrong way, I think I’d have to go with the second one. Because newsflash, Marty: YOU’D HAVE HAD A KICK AT THE CAN IF YOU’D STAYED IN TAMPA BAY. It’s unfortunate the Lightning and Rangers don’t have a very good chance at meeting in the playoffs, because that would be something. It could still happen, but just looking at the standings, there’d need to be an upset or two.

Saturday: Phoenix at Washington (7 p.m. ET)

The only reason I picked this game is because I wanted to show the empty-net goal from the Capitals’ 6-4 loss to the Flyers on Wednesday:

What you just saw was a 6-on-5 for Washington, which somehow allowed itself to get outnumbered 3 to 2 in the corner, with a predictable result.


In case you’re wondering who to blame there, no, it wasn’t Alex Ovechkin‘s fault. That was Joel Ward‘s responsibility to recognize the situation, and he was way too late to wake up.

Why does it always seem to be the Capitals that make these kinds of mistakes?

Saturday: Minnesota at Dallas (8:30 p.m. ET)

Everyone knew it was going to take time for the Stars to climb their way back up the Dallas sports hierarchy, but there sure were a lot of empty seats for last night’s 6-1 win over Vancouver. I wonder if that was kind of disappointing for the players considering the importance of the game, and how well they performed in it. The Stars’ average attendance this season is just 13,978, which is higher than only one team in the entire NHL, the Phoenix Coyotes (13,357). Making the playoffs for the first time since 2008 would help generate some buzz in Big D, obviously. I wouldn’t even put it past the Stars to pull a first-round upset. This is a good, exciting team. Hopefully it translates into better crowds soon.

Saturday: Calgary at Vancouver (10 p.m. ET)

Why do you need to watch this game between two non-playoff teams? Because if the Canucks lose to the Flames, at home and on national TV, Kevin Bieksa and company are going to experience a brand new “rock bottom.” By the way, here’s something that rarely gets mentioned when Vancouver’s management team is taken to task: when the Canucks gave Roberto Luongo that 12-year, $64 million contract in 2009, it was basically a big middle finger to the powers that be in the NHL head office. Gary Bettman hated those front-loaded structures, and he didn’t make that a secret. While the Luongo contract didn’t technically violate the terms of the CBA, it definitely violated the spirit, and Mike Gillis, along with ownership, were naïve to think there wouldn’t be consequences. Enter the cap-recapture penalty in the new CBA, a.k.a. Bettman’s Revenge, which was a huge barrier to trading Luongo last summer, and could still hurt the Canucks down the line.

Sunday: Detroit at NY Rangers (12:30 p.m. ET)

On NBC. Streaming live, too. When I read the story about the weak Canadian dollar possibly resulting in a lower-than-expected salary cap for next season, the first player that came to mind was Brad Richards. I’ve written about this before. The way their cap situation looks right now, and especially if the cap doesn’t go up as much as originally expected, the Rangers will almost certainly have to use their remaining compliance buyout on the 33-year-old center. But here’s the thing: Richards is also New York’s leading scorer, with 44 points in 63 games. If he does become an unrestricted free agent, there won’t be any shortage of suitors for his services.

  1. storminator16 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    The quotes have to be a kick in the nuts to the Lighting players as well. Will be interesting to watch when these two teams meet. With all that said, they should create a show called “Athletes Say The Dumbest Things”.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      As long as Bryz is the host.

      • storminator16 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Ha, that would be epic!

  2. penguins87and71 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Shouldn’t Friday night count as part of the weekend? Because the Penguins/Ducks game should be pretty good.

    • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      Generally, no, when they do these things for the “weekend” they just include Saturday and Sunday

      I know it’s shocking to you, but people can talk about the NHL without Cindy or the Pens being the main topic

  3. capspats - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Great shot by downie on that empty net. He’s gotta be careful tho, miss that shot and it’s icing, and that could lead to a quick one timer goal off the faceoff. I remember that happening in game 5 of the ducks-preds series a few years ago

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      It’s funny you say that bc I believe Downie had iced the puck on the play before. Why he was out there with a minute and a half left in a one goal game is beyond me? I’m glad he scored but it seems he doesn’t have the ability to understand the consequences of his actions- in fact he’s shown that with his many, many thoughtless penalties at inopportune times.

    • shortsxit34 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      I’ll always remember the 2009 World Junior Semi Final game, Russia was up 5-4 over Canada and a Russian player tried to play hero from behind his own blue line with :40 left. He ices it, Canada wins the endzone faceoff, and ties it with :04 left, then wins in a shootout.

    • sumkat - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      Yes, he did ice the puck a few seconds before that, without even looking to make an outlet pass first.

      Not to mention, with his linemates coming up with him, he could of carried the puck to the redline and got that shot off (or worst case dish it to the side the dman came from for his linemates). Just a boneheaded play, he got very luck for it to work out for him, if it didn’t, that’s the type of thing that gets you in a coaches dog house

  4. einjzmolf - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Yeah, the Stars retiring Mike Modano’s number 9 tomorrow isn’t a reason to watch or anything, just make fun of their attendance numbers instead. They’ll be sold out tomorrow and it takes time for the fans around here to get motivated. Missing the playoffs for five seasons and being bankrupt isn’t very motivating, but they’re on the up.

    • Jason Brough - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Not sure who “made fun” of their attendance numbers, but it wasn’t me.

    • thailer35 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      See the video I posted below.

  5. thailer35 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    The only reason you picked the Phoenix Washington game was that video? How about Erat’s chance to prove himself against the team he was just traded from? Or even Ribeiro?

  6. cliffatola - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    St. Louis can say whatever he wants but the GM of the Lightning and the GM of Team Canada have two different needs, all egos aside.

  7. joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    If the fans in TB have every right to be upset, then it goes double for St. Louis having the right to ask for a trade. It’s his life and who are we to judge. Hockey is a business, and when a team decides to make a trade that will up root a family they don’t ask for permission unles the player has an NTC. He did what he thought was best for him, and left TB on his terms. He’s not the first to ask for a trade and he won’t be the last. Fans get emotionally attached to players and then act like a toddler who had a toy taken away. I certainly have more respect for St. Louis than a Bonds or Armstrong for example.


    a.k.a. angrytwitterguy

    • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      How did you possibly get to a comparison of St Louis to Bond or Armstrong?

      Reach much?

      • joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Use your brain much?

      • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM


        Not enough to come up with an epic shot like that! You sir, should clearly take your satire professional

      • cofran2004 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        You didn’t get his point? Really? The point is St. Louis, while asking for a trade and possibly coming off as a bit of a jerk, St. Louis is still not on the horrid level of steroid cheaters, and we should save our vitriol for them.

        I may not agree with joey often, but I at least usually understand the point he’s making. So I pose the same question he asked… Use your brain much?

      • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        That’s like saying, yeah, I may be a rapist and kiddy toucher, but hey, that Hitler, now THAT was a bad guy, in context you should just ignore me and save all your hate for that type

      • cofran2004 - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:42 AM

        Yeah, except thats waaaay too extreme of an example. While Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong did something illegal, what they did didn’t cause irrepairable harm to a child, or… ya know…. try to make an entire ethnic group of people go extinct.

        Again you fail at making a sound, reasoned argument. Third time is the charm. Try again?

    • thailer35 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Hey Joey, can you show me where someone said that thought you and I were the same person? I know that goes against everything I usually say to you, but I’m curious, cause I totally missed it when it happened.

      • joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        jcmeyer10 – Mar 5, 2014 at 1:48 PM
        Does signing out of the username joey4id and signing into his blomfeld account then posting as thailer35 count as a job?

      • thailer35 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        Holy crap! I missed that whole thing! Haha! But I guess common enemies now make you, Blomfeld, slysipops, and I friends, or I guess as Blomfeld would say, comrades?

        At least until playoffs…

        Or the next fighting debate.

  8. drewsylvania - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    To be fair, now that he’s on the Rangers, they’re only slightly less of a chance to make the playoffs than TB would have been with him.

  9. dueman - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Oh Joey, as usual, you just don’t get it…

  10. rockthered1286 - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    No no no…. You MUST be mistaken. According to every poster on PHT I was under the impression that EVERYTHING is Ovechkin’s fault.

  11. dontbsuchapuss - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Who cares it’s his life not yours if it offends you get over it

  12. blackbiscuit7 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Spot on regarding Martin St Louis! He was a legend here in Tampa Bay. Beloved by all fans for his determination and grit. Captain of the Lightning, Hero of the 2004 Stanley Cup… That legacy he built is forever charred now. A captain that quit his team, asking to be traded in the middle of a successful season and possible playoff berth. Yet, we as fans all remember those rumblings several years ago when we had unstable ownership and he wanted to be traded to a contender. Now he was the captain and in the very moment he cherished to be in. Family decision? Could that not wait for 3 more months??? Ironically the catalyst for this whole thing had much to do about his exclusion from Team Canada. One which he believed his legacy had earned him a spot on the team – one in which he just destroyed…

    This and all sports rely on FANS. Without fans there are no games, no million dollar salaries, no Lord Stanley Cup. I am fed up with “it was a business decision”. This mentality will eventually erode fans interest and kill the sport.

    • sumkat - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      The only reason I tend to agree with you, is because he has his name on the cup already. As a Philly fan, I’ve seen more than my fair share of guys leave town to go on and win somewhere else. Mostly, I was rooting for them (from the guy who broke open modern free agency, Reggie White, to Carter/Richards more recently).

      But the reason I was able to root for them was because, they put their time in, put everything they had into it, and came up short with the team they had in Philly. No reason not too root for them someplace else (if Philly isn’t in the mix). However, I’m not sure how I would feel about a guy who DID get his title doing that. For example, if Utley decided next year “I want out so I have a chance to win, make it happen”, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it. I can see it if you’ve never been to the mountain top, chase the ring if that’s what you want to do at the end of your career. But if you already have one…personally I’d get over it, but I can see the point

  13. mp1131211 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    So…. Why can they be upset?

  14. nyjetblue - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    He’s wanted out of Tampa to NY for a long time. First requested a trade before his last contract.

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