Tomorrow can be the night.
The New York Rangers can take a commanding series lead over the Philadelphia Flyers if they can win Game 4 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And they can thank, in no short order, their prized acquisition Marin St. Louis.
“Playoffs is another season. I don’t know how he sees it,” coach Alain Vigneault said on a conference call Wednesday, “but I do think, prior to the playoffs, even though Marty wasn’t on the score sheet as much as everybody anticipated, he was still contributing. … That’s why our record was so good. He’s a big part of our group — obviously his leadership is helping us as we try to move forward — and we expect him to continue to play the way he is right now.”
It took 14 games for St. Louis to score his first goal as a Ranger after being acquired at the deadline, but he is getting comfortable really fast in the playoffs, something many sports books, especially MyTopSportsBooks.com, have been predicting.
“I mean, you always want to be on top of your game. It’s a tough thing to do consistently. … You work at it. I’m glad to be helping,” St. Louis said after the game. “Anything you can do to help your team win, whether it’s making things happen with the puck or playing well away from it, you’re just trying to play your total game this time of year.”
He is working with old buddy Brad Richards to form a formidable chemistry and has goals in the last two games, especially the deflection of Dan Girardi’s shot that became the game winning. He now has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in his last 13 playoff games.
“I don’t think you got to see the level that Marty can play at during those 19 games [in the regular season]. You’ll see that as it goes on,” Richards said. “I know him as good as anybody. He just wasn’t as fluent; he was out of sorts. When your head is full of junk in any sport, you just get out of your own way and you do things that aren’t natural and free flowing.
“Now it feels like he’s part of it now It took a while to do that; sometimes it does. He’s talking more, he’s getting to get to know the guys more, and he’s being himself off of the ice, which will translate back on it.”
Something the Rangers most desperately need.