Exit interview: Marty St. Louis says he has "full faith we're going to be a good team for years to come"
In the newest installment of the Tampa Bay Lightning's exit interviews, wing Marty St. Louis talks about an abrupt ending to the season, breaking down after the 1-0 loss to the Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final and the team's great fan support.
On turning off the emotions after the season: It happens quick. You're tied going into the third (period), you can't score one and the season is over just like that. So, yeah, it took a few days to settle, but this was a pretty good year for our team. We've come a long way in 10 months, 12 months.
On how the team is perceived: You're one game away from the Stanley Cup final. We definitely earned respect throughout the league and re-established ourselves as a good team in the league. But you have to earn it every year. You take a few weeks off, probably, but then you have to start focusing on being ready for training camp.
On enthusiasm for next season: For sure, it is exciting. But the toughest part for a player as you go through a playoff run is, you know, you've got to go through a regular season to get to that level, and you can't forget how important the first few months of the season are to set yourself up for a good year. We're excited and stuff about what we've done this year and what we know we can probably do in the coming years, and you get hungry as you get closer. But our summer is really important individually, here, to be better collectively when it starts.
On his emotions after Game 7: You know, I know I wear my heart on my sleeve and everything happened so quick, and one of my best buddies on the other side (Bruins goalie Tim Thomas). I was holding it pretty good until I got to shake his hand and, I don't know, sometimes emotions get the best of you. Obviously, I told him to go win his Cup. I got a little emotional about it, but sometimes there are things you can't control.
On maintaining team chemistry: I don't know. I'm going to let Steve (GM, Yzerman) do what he does. He did pretty good in such a short period of time. I have all faith in him that we're going to be a good team for years to come.
On fan base: It was great to get to that level again in this building (the St. Pete Times Forum), you know, the fans behind you and just really feeling ... it felt like '04. Unfortunately, we couldn't give them one more round. But the excitement was unbelievable. Obviously, you get that with success and everything the franchise has done on and off the ice has been great for our fans and, hopefully, there's a lot more to come.