Tampa Bay Lightning’ forward Martin St. Louis, who made Team Canada due to Steven Stamkos’ injury, is reportedly expected to take the place of Jeff Carter on their top-line for Friday’s game – according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
So much for Jeff Carter. Appears Canada will move Martin St. Louis onto the Crosby/Kunitz line tonight vs. Austria. Here we go again.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) February 14, 2014
All three of those players – Crosby, Kunitz, St. Louis – have been point garnering machines in the NHL.
Last season, St. Louis led the league in scoring with 60 points, Crosby finished tied for third, and Kunitz was tied for sixth. This season, Crosby leads the league (78), St. Louis’ tied for 10th (56), and Kunitz is tied for 11th (55).
As a collective, the tandem of Crosby-Kunitz-St. Louis could be deadly. They all bring a lot of speed, present viable chemistry together, and are all leaders in their own way. St. Louis’ drive to prove his worth to Canada also has to be playing a factor in his head – meaning he’s got all the motivation he needs.
I have said before, it has to come down to two players: center Matt Duchene, or St. Louis – not Carter. Yes, Carter has size, but doesn’t match Crosby and Kunitz’ styles. Both Duchene and St. Louis, when combined with the two Pens’ skaters, would mesh effortlessly.
We’ll see how St. Louis performs at noon, when Canada takes on Team Austria. I’m expecting him to shine.