May 26, 2014, 1:57 AM EDT
Despite generating two scoring titles and a Hart Trophy in his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis rarely drew the most attention with his former team.
Brad Richards won the Conn Smythe Trophy. St. Louis went from being overshadowed by one No. 1 draft pick (Vincent Lecavalier) to another (Steven Stamkos). The undrafted free agent’s lengthy stay in Tampa Bay finally ended with that final Olympic slight, and while that breakup was messy, it seems like he’s finally “the man” with the New York Rangers.
“Everybody wants to be the guy,” St. Louis said, according to Puck Daddy. “These are the times … you play as a kid in the street, you picture this. Everybody wants to be the guy.”
He certainly seemed to play that role in Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens, most demonstratively with that decisive goal:
It’s not exactly rare for the 38-year-old winger to come through in a clutch moment, either. Fittingly, that goal leaves him with 80 points in 80 career playoff games, including four overtime winners. Richards has been there for quite a few of them.
Brad Richards on St. Louis: "I've jumped on him a couple times in overtime and it never gets old."—
James Mirtle (@mirtle) May 26, 2014
Alain Vigneault indicates that St. Louis buries these types of chances more often than not.
“The goal he scored tonight is exactly what you see him practice every time he’s on the ice, like a hundred pucks,” Vigneault said.
It’s odd to use the word “underrated” regarding a guy with a track record like St. Louis, yet it’s not out of the realm of plausibility, either. Perhaps he’ll finally get the respect he craves at 38, even if it’s coming on the heels of the great personal tragedy of his mother’s passing and a tumultuous season overall.
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