We continue our New York Rangers Turning Point series today with a little bit of Martin St. Louis magic, and how his goal changed everything.
2014 brought about a magical spring for the New York Rangers and their fans.
The team made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years and fans enjoyed some nail-biting moments along the way.
The Rangers faced the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the playoffs that year, but that entire series would seem like a warm-up for the festivities that were to come in the second round verses the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Rangers stole Game 1 of the series, but didn’t deserve the win. The Penguins looked like a fast, energetic, and hungry team for the first four games of the series.
Well they looked sluggish right from the beginning, as did their fans.
Madison Square Garden wasn’t the rowdy playoff venue that many had come to expect, but rather a gathering place for nervous fans who quite frankly, didn’t have much to cheer about up until that point.
While the Blueshirts may not have had a captain in 2014, they had plenty of leadership.
And who could forget Martin St. Louis?
Prior to Game 5, Marty lost his mother, France St. Louis.
Marty was very close to his mother. He wrote in an article with The Players’ Tribune that his mother gave him the drive and confidence to be a great hockey players.
The Rangers found themselves down three games to one going into Game 5.
But the Rangers rallied around their grieving teammate and spanked the Penguins by a score of 5-1.
While the win was a big one for the Rangers, they still had a tall order to fill as they would need to win two consecutive games against a Pittsburgh team that would undoubtedly come out strong in Game 6.
A Game 6 that would take place on Sunday, May 11th.
Contrary to Game’s 3 and 4, MSG was electric for Game 6. For the first time in the series, the fans believed that their Rangers could comeback from three games down.
The Rangers were swarming the Penguins right from the first puck drop.
And then it happened.
When that puck deflected off of St. Louis’ shin pad and rolled into the net, MSG erupted.
It was a release of love and joy from the Garden Faithful and an emotional tribute paid to his mother by Marty.
The Marty chanted started to rain down from the Garden rafters, but not the Marty chants that MSG has grown accustomed to hearing over the years.
No, this was a chant that was full of respect.
Everyone donning the Rangers blue started to believe following this goal, players and fans alike.
If not for this goal, then I strongly believe the Rangers would have lost in six or seven games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Instead, the Rangers would mount an epic comeback which was lead by St. Louis.
The St. Louis magic didn’t end with this one goal.