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04-30-2004, 01:29 PM
  #35
Blind Gardien
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nexus of the crisis
 
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I don't think we saw a very good series from St. Louis, but this is a pretty senseless debate. 93.2% of talented NHL players are not above going down to try to draw a penalty, and 99.4% are going to reach up and feel around their face in a desperate search for blood after they've been highsticked. 97.3% of the stars will yap at the ref regardless of whether a penalty is being called or not. It's all part of hockey, especially playoff hockey, where every little edge, however seemingly slight, could be the deciding factor in a game and even a season.

So what if Martin St. Louis did all thus stuff in this series? He's just the same as most other players in that respect. He hammed it up a bit on that one high stick, but we see that a dozen times a game in every game, so he's hardly alone. He did a bit of (very successful and strategically sound) cherry-picking in Game 2. What of it? It shouldn't hurt a TB fan to admit it at least happens, and it shouldn't be taken as any kind of slight on his MVP season or his character or his superb ability as a hockey player. Wayne Gretzky did those kinds of things with about sixteen gazillion times the frequency of St.Louis, and it doesn't make him anything other than a hockey god. Koivu has done the same things at various points in his life, and he's our own minor deity.

(statistics fabricated courtesy of my own head)

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