New York Rangers: Martin St. Louis Must Step Up Leadership


Facing elimination, the New York Rangers need to find motivation to move on in the Playoffs. And where they find that motivation could very well be in Martin St. Louis.

It’s been a year since the passing of Martin St. Louis‘s mother, France, who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 63. During that time, the New York Rangers were in Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers were facing elimination, down 3-1 in the series and Game Five was the very next day.

Instead of taking time off from the Playoffs to grieve his loss, St. Louis decided to keep on playing.

With St. Louis, the Rangers staved off elimination with a convincing 5-1 win in Game Five. Then on the following Mother’s Day, St. Louis scored the opening goal in Game Six back at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers went on to win by a margin of 3-1 to force a Game Seven, which they would also win to take the series.

St. Louis’ persistence and his Mothers’ Day goal undoubtedly inspired the Rangers during the 2014 Playoffs. The level of motivation that St. Louis brought to his team was immense and it made a visible impact.

The Rangers will need a high level of motivation again to reach Round Three and beyond this year. Once more, they find themselves facing elimination, but this time to the Washington Capitals (New York currently trailing 3-2 in the series).

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

As a veteran player and alternate captain, St. Louis needs to help inspire the Rangers in order to make it out of Round Two. His play heavily affects the team, as he’s on the first line, and his presence in the locker room is unquestionably important as well.

It would help if St. Louis rallied his team before the Mothers’ Day game (Game Six) by reminding them of how they came back from a 3-1 deficit before and to continue to believe. But of course, we can’t always know what’s going on in the locker room. However, we can see what’s happening on the ice and St Louis has big potential to inspire the Rangers through his actions in addition to his words.

St. Louis has yet to score a goal in these Playoffs, despite the roughly 731* chances he’s had in Game Five alone (*actually, it was more around the single digits). So if Marty is ever going to score a goal in the postseason, Game Six is the perfect time to do so. If he can pull that off, it’ll be a huge relief for not only himself but for the entire team.

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Practically all of the Rangers have been struggling with scoring goals, but if Marty can tally his first goal sooner than later, it could spark a fire under all of offense. He needs to lead by example and show his teammates that although he hasn’t scored in the postseason yet, his determination and persistence will pay off.

He needs to show them that despite the frustration, the oh-so-close shots and the blown chances, he will continue to strive for that goal.

Just as St. Louis never quit in the 2014 Playoffs, he needs to prove that he won’t quit now.

Perhaps then, the Rangers will gain that extra bit of inspiration they need to skate faster, play harder, and maybe..just maybe.. score more than a couple of goals.

Next: Will the Rangers Make it to Round Three?

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