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St. Louis: ‘Am I playing great? No. But I’ve played way worse than this’

Mar 17, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

Martin St. Louis AP

The numbers are in from Martin St. Louis‘ first seven games as a Ranger, and they’re not great: Zero goals, two points and just three wins.

On Monday, St. Louis addressed his slow start to life on Broadway.

“You’ve got to stay positive. Am I playing great? No. But I’ve played way worse than this,” St. Louis said, per the New York Daily News. “There’s no time to feel sorry, you’ve just got to man up, be a big boy about it and go to work every day.”

Acquired in a captain-for-captain deadline day blockbuster — ex-Rangers captain Ryan Callahan went to Tampa Bay — St. Louis was supposed to inject life into a Ranger offense that ranked in the NHL’s bottom-half in goals per game. What’s more, the adjustment to life in New York was supposed to be made easier by the presence of former Bolts teammate Brad Richards, installed as St. Louis’ linemate upon his Rangers debut against Toronto on Mar. 5.

It just hasn’t gone according to plan.

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault split up St. Louis and Richards prior to Friday’s 4-2 win over Winnipeg, saying the duo didn’t have the impact he thought it would. Which leads to the big question moving forward — where will St. Louis play now?

He skated with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello against the Sharks on Sunday, but the line didn’t produce much offensively (though, to be fair, none of the Rangers did as they lost 1-0 as Antti Niemi stopped all 41 shots faced). The trio did have some good puck possession shifts down low and looked capable of generating some chances but, with the Rangers fighting for their playoff lives, the prospect of good scoring chances really isn’t enough.

“We still could have won this game,” Zuccarello said following the San Jose loss. “At the end of the day it’s not good enough. We have to put the puck in the net.”

  1. letsgolightning - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Meanwhile, Callahan has 3 points (1G, 2A) and is a +2 in five starts for the Lightning.

    • girouxsalem89 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      He’s also not a 5’8″ 38 year old man, so thats additional bonus points.

      • moarjam - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Haha so you guys are ok with the trade now?

      • dirtyharry1971mom - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        @moarjam: I’ve been ok with this trade since the day it was made. MSL wasn’t going to be part of the core in 2-3 years anyways. 2nd rounder this season, the 1st rounder in 2015…which is also a draft pick that no other teams wanted to part with (McDavid & Eichel) should fetch a decent player. Since Al Murray has been drafting/scouting players who have made BIG contribution a the NHL level…We’ve seen guys like Tyler Johnson (undrafted), Ondrej Palat (7th round pick), Nikita Kucherov, Vlad Namestnikov, Andrei Sustr, JT Brown, ect have all came through the system.

        Jonathan Drouin, Adam Erne, Andrei Vasilevski, Slater Koekkoek are all guys who could contribute as early as next season.

        Obviously Marty will find his form and become the dominant player that he was in Tampa Bay..but to be honest I’d rather get Callahan, 2nd rounder and a 1st round pick any day (even if we don’t sign Callahan). Not only has Callahan been great on the 2nd line with Palat and Filppula, he’s helped us in the PK and PP department, something we really needed.

  2. muttbolts91 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    The irony in him saying man up and big boy, he couldn’t do it 2 weeks ago

  3. lowenni - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Maybe he should’ve stayed in Tampa and seriously challenged for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals on a great Bolts team that he’s spent his whole career with and that has shown loyalty and love to him for 15+ years, not to mention which he was the captain of. Oh, but he got left off the Team Canada roster by his GM. Nevermind.

    • stakex - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Well lets be real here for a minute. The Bolts are a solid, not great, team…. and their spot in the playoffs if far from certain at this point, so its hard to say they will be serious contenders for the Cup this year. Despite a rough stretch over the last few games, the Rangers are just as likely to contend for a Cup as the Lightning are this year. So the idea that he left a much better team and threw away a likely run at the Cup is a very questionable belief.

    • lowenni - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      They’ve struggled since St. Louis left. That’s to be expected, as he’s been part of the core of their team for more than a decade. They have a fantastic goalie in Bishop and a good core, and while I doubt they go to the Finals it is possible they could go to the Conference Finals. Callahan for St. Louis is a downgrade in my opinion, at least as a short-term deal, but with him Tampa Bay could’ve really been a team to watch. They were on a tear without Stamkos, anything could’ve happened if St. Louis had stayed.

      • falstaffsmind - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        It is a downgrade of sorts, but not a dramatic downgrade. There are things Callahan does that St. Louis didn’t. He is a better forechecker, doesn’t get knocked around as much, and has a been a boost in terms of puck possession. The last two games, the Bolts have dominated at times, and Callahan has been an integral part of that. When you consider Callahans age and the draft picks, I think the bolts won this one.

  4. stepanup - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Seems like NY is the black hole where formerly talented, productive skaters lose their ability to rack up points. Makes me appreciate what Gaborik did twice reaching 80 points.

    • imgoingtowichita - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      It has been that way for some time in Manhattan. Many felt (and likely correct to some degree) that the root cause was Torts preaching defense first, blocking shots and not necessarily controlling the puck and the pace of play. With a solid goaltender able to cover aggressive mistakes, the NYR’s should have been playing to the strengths of players like Gaborik, Richards, Dubinsky, Del Zotto, etc.
      It is changing with players like Kreider and Zuccarello that can stretch the zone and play at a high pace. I feel it’s been a long season in which they are still trying to find their identity under a new coach.

  5. murtdurt - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    It will be seriously funny to watch the rangers miss the playoffs while Tampa gets in. That’s what you get when your a whiney grown ass man

  6. mjasper24 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    He would have a hard time making team Canada playing like this…

  7. jasminedonut - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Go back to tampa you old bum, and take your butt buddy Richards with you, you both are old. Sometimes athletes need to know the grass isn’t greener somewhere else, he had a good thing in tampa, but he has been pretty bad in ny. He’s screwed up chemistry has effectively cancelled out zucc (why they are on the same line makes no sense), and everyone on the ice is deferring to him. How does a GM trade their captain, a #1 in a supposedly extremely deep draft, and a #2 that could turn into a #1 for an almost 39 year old! Glen Sather, please retire you smug bastard!

    • 7mantel - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Don’t mince words ! Tell us how you really feel !

  8. President Charles Logan - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    lol good heavens folks, it’s only been 7 games , let the guy get settled in and get acclimated!
    besides lets be realistic, this NYR team isnt SC material this year with or without Marty.

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