Since the Rangers European trip to begin the 2011-12 season, the team has been issuing the Broadway Hat to their player of the game after every victory. It isn’t always presented to the player who scored the game winning goal or made the big save, it’s sometimes given to a player who had done the little things to get the job done.
But last night, Martin St. Louis did something that had never happened in the two plus years of the Broadway Hat. Instead of awarding it to an individual teammate he gave it to the entire team in recognition of their support over the last three days…
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a *ucking New York Ranger with you guys.”
…damn, I love this guy. Who did the Rangers trade for him again?
Here’s more St. Louis after the game…
“I got a pretty good bounce there on the first one, obviously the right place,” St. Louis added. “But you have to work for your bounces. I know she (his mother) helped me through this. It’s a great win by the guys. We played hard. We have to believe and we just have to keep pushing. That’s what we’re doing.
“Mother’s Day, my dad’s here, my sister’s here,” St. Louis said. “It’s been a tough time for my whole family. To be able to get the lead in the first period, it was a good moment.”
Here’s St. Louis’ teammates on what his goal last night meant to them (via Bergen Record)…
“It’s probably one of the cooler things I’ve been a part of in my professional career, the emotion on that goal,” Derek Stepan said. “it’s something I won’t ever forget. What he’s been through the last couple of days, for him to score a goal and the way he did it it’s something I won’t forget for sure.”
“To get a goal like that, at the start like that, with the crowd cheering his name, it’s an unbelievable start to the game. I haven’t heard the crowd that loud in a very long time.”
“It’s a great moment. I’m so happy for him. It was emotional. I got emotional. I think everyone felt it.”
…it says so much about the kind of guy St. Louis is to see his teammates become so inspired and emotionally charged by someone who has only been with the Rangers for two months. Losing a parent is obviously a traumatic experience and I’m sure other teams have been similar situations throughout the history of sports, but seeing how every single player on the Blueshirts roster has reacted to the situation it’s almost as if they’ve all lost a loved one. This story has not only captured the hearts of the Rangers organization, but also the entire fan base. It’s been an emotional few days and you wonder if they have enough for one more victory.
…btw, how awesome of a moment was watching St. Louis skate around the MSG ice after being named the first star thanking the Garden Faithful?