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Old
03-11-2013, 02:43 AM
  #1
g3ryder
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Alex Pietrangelo

So I've created a couple of d-men threads on the NHL Talk board, and Pietrangelo's name always seems to come up for either Norris contention or best d-men in the league going forward. But often I've seen people mention that he's not playing well this year. Is this assessment correct, and if so, what has caused the regression from him after the outstanding year he had last year?

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03-11-2013, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by g3ryder View Post
So I've created a couple of d-men threads on the NHL Talk board, and Pietrangelo's name always seems to come up for either Norris contention or best d-men in the league going forward. But often I've seen people mention that he's not playing well this year. Is this assessment correct, and if so, what has caused the regression from him after the outstanding year he had last year?
Last year, he was the NHL's best defenseman. He or Shea Weber. And it was because he actually played defense. I understand that at this point in time we consider the "best" "defenseman" to be the best 4th forward who starts the play from a little farther behind, but in no way were Karlsson & Pietrangelo's defensive games even comparable. One was elite, one was very, very average.

This year, he has tried to play like Karlsson. His offense the first 15 games or so was great ... great in the sense of collecting points. If he went boldly forward on the rush (pretty much every rush) and then the puck winds up heading the other way, that's not that big a deal. This has been asked of our beat writer repeatedly in chats and he always says it's because "these guys are offensive guys" but that's IMO him not wanting to criticize Pietrangelo. (Tonight on Twitter he began to post stats about Pietrangelo's unacceptably bad defense, so maybe that will change.) Yeah, no big deal we're letting play after play go odd man rush the other way. This player, I am not sure who he is, but he's aggressively NOT in the Norris consideration. Frankly, it's pretty transparently an attempt to get personal stats going into a HUGE contract year.

But he will continue to get mentions because of the points. Carefully watch the analysts who hype him for that award this year – these are the guys who definitively are terrible hockey analysts and you shouldn't trust them.

All this said, it's extremely difficult for us to believe he isn't the defenseman we saw for two years prior to this year. Blues fans understand he's a gifted player who is just making bad decisions right now. When we ask the beat writer whether this is purposeful, he seems to say Hitchcock and the coaching staff want him to play like that, but that's almost impossible to believe. They watch the games too, they see the wreckage of losses and standing drops based on this factor, as well as the goaltending and an overall weak LHD group. So will he turn it around? Sooner or later he will but this year the concept of a Norris is a joke. Shattenkirk easily deserves it over him this year, and Shattenkirk should only be mentioned in the top 10 or so defensemen, not Norris talk.

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03-11-2013, 03:19 AM
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I really don't think it's that extreme. Pietro hasn't been playing up to last year's standards, but he's still been better than Shattenkirk overall and he's still the team's biggest impact player on a nightly basis. Shattenkirk has just been better relative to expectations.

To go so far as to say it's a transparent attempt to get personal stats in a contract year is some thin speculation. Is it possible? Sure. But if that were the case, why doesn't he look as good as he did last year when he doesn't over-commit offensively? He's even less consistent in stuff like swatting down pucks chipped past him on the boards and that's not because he's cheating offensively, it's just because his overall play has sagged some. That's the case for the majority of the team. It's a combination of not playing during the lockout, way higher expectations, and a shaken mentality.

Does he belong in Norris discussion? Not really, but he's still a great player, so I wouldn't say he doesn't deserve to get some votes.

But at the same time, I don't give a crap about regular season trophies. They're based around reputation, which is generated by the media to simplify the game into a story that thoughtless people can easily understand. Create some trophies voted on by coaches and you'll have my attention.

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03-11-2013, 03:22 AM
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I think it might be pressure of all the Norris talk that got to him, he is a young man after all. Either way I hope he play like last season soon... if Pie play well, the Blues will be better in the standing.

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03-11-2013, 10:05 AM
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Karlsson winning the Norris last year was a sham. I feel it has led directly to AP playing the way he has. He wants to win a Norris before his next contract, or at least get put into the top 3 finalists so he can draw comparisons to Doughty for his next contract.

He saw Karlsson play zero defense last year and win it, so now he thinks that all the voters care about are points.

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03-11-2013, 10:32 AM
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MattyMo35
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I'll have to agree that I think Karlsson winning the Norris has messed with Petro's head. If Shea Weber would have won(who I thought deserved it), I'd be willing to bet we don't have this conversation. I keep hoping he'll snap out of it, and he has still made some fantastic defensive plays, but he's made an equal number of TERRIBLE plays. Maybe we were spoiled last year, and this is how he's going to play for the rest of his career. I sure hope not.

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03-11-2013, 10:46 AM
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Daley Tarasenkshow
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People do not realize that the Norris is given to the best OFFENSIVE defenseman. A player can score 40 goals and be minus -45 and still win it. Defense has nothing to do with the award, its just the best D-man that can score and get points.

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03-11-2013, 10:58 AM
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Come on guys, are we really blaming Karlsson for the way A-Pie play this year? that is ridicolous!

Im one of A-Pie biggest supporter but from what I understand and the little I seen this year he seem to have bad timing on defense. Last year everytime the puck closing in on him on the defense he read the play and could defense against it. This year that radar of reading seem to be bugging or something. Whatever it is, half of the season have passed now, no more excuses for A-Pie, time to step it up.

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03-11-2013, 11:19 AM
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The Anaheim game was maybe Pietro's best game of the season so far....at least best game in a month. I think he's starting to get back into the groove.

I think the merry-go-round at his LHD pairing has a lot more to do with it all than the Norris or Karlsson. I think Pietro deserves more credit for his character than the Norris talk lends him.

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03-11-2013, 11:27 AM
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He didn't play during the lockout, which explains his bad judgment and timing on plays. He's been hit and miss, sometimes he'll make a great and other times he gets burned. Playing will solve this issue.

He has been more aggressive offensively and joining the rush more. This has to do with his more natural style of playing, and the coaches probably told him to get more involved. Our coaches know Petro and Shatty are our best players and they want the puck on their sticks to start the offense.

Last season Pietrangelo started very defensive and he didn't get points until the 2nd half. This season, he is doing the opposite, he just has to find that happy medium again.

Most of his issues still stem from not playing during the lockout.

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03-11-2013, 11:49 AM
  #11
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I think some of Petro's subpar play can be attributed to him being paired with a revolving door of mediocre d-men this season (mostly Cole and Redden) but a lot of Petro's mistakes have absolutely nothing to do with who he's out there with and to be honest, someone in Norris consideration should be able to play with pretty much any partner. I think stabilizing the left side of the D would certainly help Petro but he's just been "off" this season. Whether that's because he's trying to focus just on offense because he's up for a contract and/or he's trying to emulate Karlsson, I don't know but he's just been a bit off this season.

I would say though that I think Petro's defense was a bit overrated last season. He was certainly better last season than this season but so were the goaltenders and team defense. The entire team isn't playing as well defensively as they were last season so a lot more mistakes are ending up in the back of the Blues' net this season than last because a lot of mistakes last season were stopped by Halak/Elliott or another player making a great recovery play. That's not happening near as much this season and Petro's offense first mentality and defensive mistakes are being exposed more prominently as a result.

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03-11-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I think some of Petro's subpar play can be attributed to him being paired with a revolving door of mediocre d-men this season (mostly Cole and Redden) but a lot of Petro's mistakes have absolutely nothing to do with who he's out there with and to be honest, someone in Norris consideration should be able to play with pretty much any partner. I think stabilizing the left side of the D would certainly help Petro but he's just been "off" this season. Whether that's because he's trying to focus just on offense because he's up for a contract and/or he's trying to emulate Karlsson, I don't know but he's just been a bit off this season.

I would say though that I think Petro's defense was a bit overrated last season. He was certainly better last season than this season but so were the goaltenders and team defense. The entire team isn't playing as well defensively as they were last season so a lot more mistakes are ending up in the back of the Blues' net this season than last because a lot of mistakes last season were stopped by Halak/Elliott or another player making a great recovery play. That's not happening near as much this season and Petro's offense first mentality and defensive mistakes are being exposed more prominently as a result.
I agree with this. I think it is more of a matter of getting exposed. Petro and Shatty both need defensive stalwarts as partners. While it will help, defense is also a contribution from your offense. Back check hasn't been strong and consistent, nor has covering the point men. Just seems like the point men are teeing off with a screen parked in front way too much.

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03-11-2013, 12:47 PM
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I see Petro fanning on a lot of pucks down low and the puck getting in his skates. Seems like he's just out of sync.

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03-11-2013, 04:41 PM
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I see Petro fanning on a lot of pucks down low and the puck getting in his skates. Seems like he's just out of sync.
Yeah, just like the forwards defensive end play and Petro's so called defense partner(s) have done all this lockout shortened season. Eveyone is out of sync on the Blues, not just Petro.

It's called a learning curve. The Blues caught the NHL by surprise last year after Hitchcock was brought aboard, got a 2nd seed in the conference, won a playoff round, then got steamrolled by a red hot 8th seed who was on fire from February on just to make the playoffs. Then the lockout. Then other western foes didn't take the blue so lightly like in the past. It has affected the Blues, in a negative way. This is not going to be our year.

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03-11-2013, 04:56 PM
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Petro shows flashes of greatness followed by head slapping mistakes. Seems like he is thinking/trying to do too much and getting burned. Like Panger said, "Blues just need to simplify the game". Don't have to make the perfect pass or play, just get it out of our zone and deep in theirs.

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03-11-2013, 05:50 PM
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Yoko Ono
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Why all the Karlsson hate this guy is the most exciting dman in hockey, best puck mover since Paul Coffey or Brian Leetch. He deserved the award because it is hard to play on offence against him as he is moving the puck out of the zone before most forwards can react to the play.

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03-11-2013, 06:09 PM
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MattyMo35
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Exciting? Yes. Who I want Petro to model his game after? Absolutely not.

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03-11-2013, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reavesthemaniac View Post
People do not realize that the Norris is given to the best OFFENSIVE defenseman. A player can score 40 goals and be minus -45 and still win it. Defense has nothing to do with the award, its just the best D-man that can score and get points.
If you honestly believe this, you need to take a good look at the Norris's history and the recent winners. Karlsson's defense was definitely average last year, but his numbers were eye popping. I don't think he deserved to win it, but his offense was on a completely different level than any other defender, and it is an all around award, so both factor in.

Agreed with a lot of what has been said, Pietro has been joining the rush to much and getting caught down low way too often and we're getting burned for it. He's also been way more turnover prone than what he showed the past two years and just seems off in our defensive zone. Shattenkirk hasn't gotten the assignments Pietrangelo has this season, but from what he's shown he's been a much better player. I find it funny that while Karlsson was still playing he looked more like Petro did last year and Pietro looked like Karlsson of last year.

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03-11-2013, 08:17 PM
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Yoko Ono
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Originally Posted by MattyMo35 View Post
Exciting? Yes. Who I want Petro to model his game after? Absolutely not.
Karlsson will have a cup way before Petro and I would be pretty sure that if Petro does get one it will be with New Jersey when he leaves here.

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03-11-2013, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Thallis View Post
If you honestly believe this, you need to take a good look at the Norris's history and the recent winners. Karlsson's defense was definitely average last year, but his numbers were eye popping. I don't think he deserved to win it, but his offense was on a completely different level than any other defender, and it is an all around award, so both factor in.

Agreed with a lot of what has been said, Pietro has been joining the rush to much and getting caught down low way too often and we're getting burned for it. He's also been way more turnover prone than what he showed the past two years and just seems off in our defensive zone. Shattenkirk hasn't gotten the assignments Pietrangelo has this season, but from what he's shown he's been a much better player. I find it funny that while Karlsson was still playing he looked more like Petro did last year and Pietro looked like Karlsson of last year.
In the past 15 years, the Norris winner has averaged 3rd overall in the points race for defensemen. If you throw out the top and the bottom scores, it drops to below 2.5. There simply isn't a question that the Norris is currently only contended for by the top offense producing defensemen.

One has to go back over 20 years to find a defensive defenseman who won it.

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03-11-2013, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bluemandan View Post
In the past 15 years, the Norris winner has averaged 3rd overall in the points race for defensemen. If you throw out the top and the bottom scores, it drops to below 2.5. There simply isn't a question that the Norris is currently only contended for by the top offense producing defensemen.

One has to go back over 20 years to find a defensive defenseman who won it.
Yes, but he's insinuating that it's an offensive award, which is just incredibly wrong. It's not a question that you have to be offensively effective (it is an overall award after all), but to say what he did is just being bitter that Karlsson won. If it were awarded to the best offensive defenseman, Mike Green would have 2 or 3 Norrises.

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03-11-2013, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoko Ono View Post
Karlsson will have a cup way before Petro and I would be pretty sure that if Petro does get one it will be with New Jersey when he leaves here.
Are you going to break up the Senators like you broke up the Beatles?

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03-11-2013, 09:24 PM
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Karlsson will have a cup way before Petro and I would be pretty sure that if Petro does get one it will be with New Jersey when he leaves here.
Lol.

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03-11-2013, 09:55 PM
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Is it possible the distribution of ice time is a factor?

Last season:
NameATOI
Pietrangelo24:43
Shattenkirk21:36
Jackman20:40
Colaiacovo19:00
Polak18:51
Russel17:00
Cole15:54
Huskins:15:28 

This season:
NameATOI
Pietrangelo25:50
Shattenkirk22:06
Jackman19:58
Cole18:03
Polak17:55
Redden15:23
Russel15:04

Pietrangelo is averaging a full minute+ more than last season. Not only that, but he's replacing the minutes Polak previously had.


I think it's all a combination of having not played during the lockout, higher expectations from the fans, higher expectations placed on himself, and a coaching staff that might trust him too much.

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03-11-2013, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcpremix88 View Post
Is it possible the distribution of ice time is a factor?

Last season:
NameATOI
Pietrangelo24:43
Shattenkirk21:36
Jackman20:40
Colaiacovo19:00
Polak18:51
Russel17:00
Cole15:54
Huskins:15:28 

This season:
NameATOI
Pietrangelo25:50
Shattenkirk22:06
Jackman19:58
Cole18:03
Polak17:55
Redden15:23
Russel15:04

Pietrangelo is averaging a full minute+ more than last season. Not only that, but he's replacing the minutes Polak previously had.


I think it's all a combination of having not played during the lockout, higher expectations from the fans, higher expectations placed on himself, and a coaching staff that might trust him too much.
Weve been playing from behind a lot more than last season, probably has a lot to do with it. Polak barely sees the ice in the last 5 minutes if we are down.

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