Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Rumor mill stirring again on St. Louis as he shines in the first period
Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Feb 12, 2009 at 09:17 PM
TAMPA - With the trading deadline rapidly approaching - 20 days and counting as of today - the rumor mill no doubt is getting warmed to churn hard enough to make homemade ice cream. (Sorry, I had a bowl before I left the house today and it’s still on my mind).
A month ago we experienced the latest round of the Vinny Lecavalier to Montreal talk. It lasted about a week before it all died down.
You can bet, however, that the mill will begin turning again as the March 4 date gets closer.
For now, however, Marty St. Louis’ name has popped up in relation to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It’s not the first time St. Louis and the Penguins have been linked as Pittsburgh is trying to find somebody consistent to play on a line with Sidney Crosby. Marty would probably be a good fit with Crosby because he works hard every shift, can chase down pucks and works well in the corners. The name mentioned as coming back is defenseman Ryan Whitney. But here’s the thing, if the Lightning think Whitney is the No. 1 defenseman they need, it’s just not the case.
Now, if the deal was Whitney and Jordan Staal, maybe you think about it from the Lightning’s perspective. Otherwise, you don’t trade the heart and soul of this team. Not for the production St. Louis provides for this team. Not for what he means to the franchise. And certainly for not what he still brings at a friendly cap number (relatively speaking) of $5.25 million and the actual salary he will make, $4 million next season.
All you have to do is see the two plays he made on the three of the four first-period goals scored tonight. On the first goal, he found position around a Toronto defenseman and got off a quick shot by turning over his hands. It was just a great play - it didn’t lead directly to the goal, but it was a key factor. On the second goal, his forecheck allowed him to get on top of Lee Stempniak and knock down an attempted pass behind the Toronto net. St. Louis collected the puck and fed it to Ryan Malone in front. On the fourth goal, all I can say is - What a shot - backhander to the far post, just wow.
His four points in the period tie a team record also accomplished by Pavel Kubina, Dan Boyle and Vinny Lecavalier. Also, St. Louis now has 20 or more goals in six consecutive seasons. Only Lecavalier has a longer streak in team history at nine straight years.
This is the first time the Lightning have scored four goals in a period (and since there haven’t been many games in which they’ve scored four goals, that doesn’t surprise me)