Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Certifiably Awesome

I was going to write something about the Lightning and their road woes so far this season, but decided to adhere to the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” adage.  I’m not sure what their fundamental flaw on the road is, but I trust in Coach Boucher to figure it out and right the ship.

Instead let us delve into the card collection and pull out a random favorite. 

It’s a Martin St. Louis Certified Champions card from last year’s Panini Certified set.  I know I picked this up at the National, but I can’t remember if I bought it or if it came from Sal or Tim.  The memory really does go when you grow old.  For a card that doesn’t have my boy Vincent on it, it still hits pretty high on the “I like it scale”.
First of all it is shiny.  Shiny like a mid 90s insert.  It’s numbered, in this case 297/500.  I was trying to find some significance for the number 297 in Mr. St. Louis’ career stats.  Honestly, I can’t find one.  So you’ll have to go with the fact that he scored his 297th goal on March 31st, 2011. It was his 30th of the season and the game winner against Pittsburgh that night.  With 298 goals for the Lightning he is second all time behind Vincent’s 357.

The card reflects the greatest moment in Lightning history, the winning of the 2004 Stanley Cup.  An event so shocking that the league had to shut down for an entire year because of it.  Marty is definitely enjoying his first skate with the cut, and I think hockey fans all around enjoyed the playoff beard he was rocking.

While St. Louis didn’t figure in the scoring of Game 7, they wouldn’t have been around to play the game if it wasn’t for his heroics in Game 6.  Thirty-three seconds into the second overtime in Calgary this happened:

The goal sent Lightning fans into hysterics, however, Calgary fans probably recall that game for an entirely different reason – Martin Gelinas’ non-goal in the third period that would have brought the Cup to Calgary.  Unfortunately, my Lightning-colored glasses will never allow me to have an objective opinion on if it was a goal or not, but for what it’s worth, I didn’t think it went in.

Panini’s insert set that this card is a part of features 25 players holding the cup.  Four of those cards are dedicated to the Lightning.  Along with Mr. St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Dan Boyle are represented, as is goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.  If I had been consulted I would have substituted Dave Andreychuk for Boyle.  Sure Boyle’shouse burned down during the playoffs, but the Captain was such an important part of that team it would have been nice to see him immortalized with the cup in card form.  For now he’ll have to settle with being a background figure in Marty’s shot.

Being Panini there are about 8 parallels to this card, some with jersey relics and some with autographs.  The “black” version is the rarest of the rare as it is a 1/1.  If you happen to have that laying about, feel free to send it my way.  I have plenty of neo-vintage* cards that I can send you in return.

*neo-vintage is a term coined by Puck Junk's Sal in order to give "junk wax" a slightly sexier name.

1 comment:

TheRealDFG said...

I remember you getting it too. That was from our little visit to the ultra-exclusive "traders lounge" at the National.