St. Louis savours every moment

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 3:25 PM ET

 Martin St. Louis is the smallest man on the ice, but he is never hard to spot.

 He's always in the middle of the action, trying to create some offence and hunting down the puck.

 But he admits that sometimes he feels lost.

 The intensity level of these games transcends anything he has ever experienced.

 "Nobody prepares you for this," he said as he sat slumped and sweating after the game, a 4-2 Tampa win over the Philadelphia Flyers that gave the Lightning a 3-2 series lead.

 "Nothing prepares you for this."

 He paused, looked around and said, "Nothing prepares you for this until you do it. I don't care how many games you've played in the regular season. This is something different."

 You get caught up in the situation, said St. Louis, and you're almost in awe of what's happening around you.

 "It's easy to watch," he said. "It's easy to be a passenger. It's easier in these games just to wait for somebody else to do it."

 Just because it's easier doesn't mean St. Louis is doing it.

 St. Louis worked hard all night long and finally was rewarded with an assist on the final goal, an empty netter by Tim Taylor when St. Louis passed up on the chance to score.

 He explained it this way: "I thought when I passed it, 'What am I doing?' What if we miss it?' but the D was cheating on me and it would be an easier chance for Tales."

 And how did he get over the sense of awe?

 "I just realized that this is our time," St. Louis said. "You have to feel like that."