Martin St. Louis Is an Easy Scapegoat for New York Rangers' Offensive Woes

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IMarch 20, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05:  Martin St. Louis #26 of the New York Rangers takes a shot in warmups prior to playing in his first game as a Ranger against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on March 5, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Yes, the New York Rangers are fresh off an 8-4 win against the Ottawa Senators, but that is not a fair representation of the team's offensive output as of late. Alain Vigneault didn't put much stock in the game when he met with the media, and therefore it is fair to exclude it when looking at the Rangers' offensive woes as of late.

The Blueshirts have had a tough time generating offense, and fans have not resisted from taking shots at the easiest target on the team. That target is Martin St. Louis—the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner—who has been put in the crosshairs because he has yet to score a goal since leaving Tampa Bay for the Big Apple.

While St. Louis' lack of goal scoring isn't helping, he is an easy scapegoat that should not be targeted because of the Rangers' offensive woes. No one is saying that his production thus far hasn't been disappointing, but other players have failed to produce as well.

Brad Richards has struggled mightily as of late.
Brad Richards has struggled mightily as of late.Scott Levy/Getty Images

While St. Louis was brought to New York to be a dynamic difference-maker, he isn't going to carry the team by himself. His supporting cast needs to help support the Broadway production that is the Rangers, and their production—or lack thereof— has been more alarming than St. Louis' slump.

Here is how the Rangers' top offensive producers have contributed over the last few games. 

Struggles of Rangers' Top Players Since Returning From Olympics
Brad Richards0440.3611
Rick Nash4370.6311
Mats Zuccarello0440.577
Derick Brassard4150.4511
Carl Hagelin4260.5411
Chris Kreider4260.5411
The Hockey News

Derek Stepan is omitted, because he has tallied 12 points since returning from Sochi.

These numbers reflect what has occurred since the Olympic break ended, and the numbers would be drastically different if the Blueshirts' 8-4 game was not factored into this tally.

As you can see, there is a bevy of players who are failing to make the grade, but instead St. Louis is being scapegoated because Ryan Callahan has tallied four points in six games since heading south.

A quick survey of Twitter illustrates the disdain fans have shown toward St. Louis and the anger they have shown towards management for dealing a player who has produced since being traded.

Obviously fans and management want St. Louis to produce, but his current predicament isn't out of the ordinary. St. Louis has gone through a number of goal-scoring droughts this year; here is an example of that below. 

List of St. Louis' Major Goal-Scoring Droughts
StartEndTotal Games
The Hockey News

Obviously his current 10-game drought is the longest of the season, but he has shown that he can still produce on a month-by-month basis. Here is a breakdown of scoring by month; this should show that St. Louis can still get the job done even with those droughts.

Martin St. Louis' Production By Month

The above stats illustrate he can be counted on to produce, and that even though he may slump from time to time, he gets the job done. March has been rough for St. Louis, but after joining a new team after spending the past 14 years with another organization, it is fair to give Marty a pass.

There is a reason why he has been a near point-per-game player throughout his career. Fans may be feeling the pressure because of the Rangers' current status in the playoff race, but everything will end up being fine.

St. Louis has played hard since joining the Rangers.
St. Louis has played hard since joining the Rangers.Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images

St. Louis is a consummate pro, and he has a history of success. His playoff numbers are impeccable, and his current struggles may be a blessing in disguise. The Rangers' newest forward is adjusting to a new system, but there's a good chance he will be firing on all cylinders once the playoffs start.

Although St. Louis hasn't scored a goal, he has been generating chances, and he's a threat whenever he's on the ice. History shows that he will be fine, so although he isn't  quite performing up to par, fans should take out their anger on the entire top six sans Stepan, instead of St. Louis alone.


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