There was not a more powerful hockey story from this weekend than that of New York Ranger Martin St. Louis and his mom.
Virtually to a man, players who make it to the NHL credit their parents for the achievement. They are the ones who offer the necessary encouragement and inspiration. They cart still sleeping kids into early morning dressing rooms and help peel off sweaty uniforms after the 2:00 AM Minor league games.
Wayne Gretzky’s father is famous for explaining the facts of a non-hockey career to his barely old enough to skate son: “You can either get up at five in the morning now –- or do it every morning for the rest of your life.”
For Martin St. Louis, that drive came from his mom.
France St. Louis died suddenly last week with her son’s NY Rangers down 3-1 in their series with the Penguins. At home with his family, Martin’s dad made it clear that whatever family responsibilities his son might feel, Mom would have wanted him to continue the dream.
St. Louis returned to the rink and led the Rangers to two stunning back to back victories over Pittsburgh.
It was a reminder that no matter the skill and talent the game of hockey requires, both take a backseat to heart.
The standings in the pool as of this morning:
Michael Foster and Todd Gordon tied for first. Peter Wildman hanging onto third.