Is Marty the MVP?
Wrote about this during training camp but thought it was worth bringing up again after Saturday's victory over the Capitals. Is Marty St. Louis the real MVP of this team? I know, Vinny 4 is a superstar and Dan Boyle, when he is healthy, is a great puck-mover and what coach John Tortorella calls "the catalyst'' of the offense. But it was interesting that when discussing how he constructs his offensive lines, Tortorella spoke of St.. Louis as kind of the all-purpose fix.
Take Saturday's game which began with St. Louis on Brad Richards' line. Not surprising since the Line of Lecavalier, Vinny Prospal and Michel Ouellet was so strong Thursday against the Hurricanes. But when the two Vinnies weren't going well, the cure was to move St. Louis up to their line. The result: five five-on-five points for that line.
Asked about it after the game, Tortorella talked about how St. Louis was the player most comfortable moving around from line-to-line; kind of like the Mr. Fix it of the team.
So that led me to wonder, again, if St. Louis is really the person who makes this team go. Lecavalier often talks about how playing with St. Louis last season forced him to keep skating, which allowed his natural talent to take over. St. Louis is a hound on defense, too. I even voted for him as a Selke finalist last season. He's very rarely off his feet and his speed forces opposing defenses to give him some room and allows him to avoid some of the battles for pucks other players have to fight.
He also has matured into a pretty good locker room presence, and was one of a handful of players to speak up at a players-only meeting after the dreadful loss to the Rangers.
It's a tough call, and surely this team doesn't go anywhere without Lecavalier's massive talent. But St. Louis in some way, pushed that talent to the surface. Add the other stuff and perhaps he really is the team MVP.