Pietrangelo Ready to Help Blues Improve

Despite individual accolades, Pietrangelo shows a team-first mentality

Monday, 07.16.2012 / 9:15 AM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Louie Korac  - NHL.com Correspondent
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Pietrangelo Ready to Help Blues Improve
Despite receiving many personal accolades, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is focused on helping the Blues get to another level.


HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- A select number of players were on hand in Las Vegas last month for the NHL Awards ceremony, but Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was not among them. Judging by his performance last season, though, he could become a regular in Vegas -- possibly as early as next year.

Pietrangelo finished fourth in the Norris Trophy voting behind Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, Nashville's Shea Weber and Boston's Zdeno Chara. But instead of reveling in his personal accomplishments last season that included career highs in goals (12), assists (39), points (51) and games played (81), Pietrangelo thinks about what might have been for a Blues team that finished with the second-best mark in franchise history.

Alex Pietrangelo
Alex Pietrangelo
Defense - STL
GOALS: 12 | ASST: 39 | PTS: 51
SOG: 202 | +/-: 16
"The worst thing was watching the Kings win the Cup, knowing that could have been us," said Pietrangelo, who helped the Blues to a 49-22-11 record and 109 points.

At times, it's hard to imagine that Pietrangelo is only 22 because he shows maturity beyond his years. The King City, Ontario, native is appreciative of the accolades that have started to come his way and the countless awards he could be up for in the future. However, it's obvious winning is what matters most.

"You've got to stay positive with that," Pietrangelo said of being recognized for the Norris. "You've got to take that as a compliment and use that as motivation to maybe get into that top three next year or have a chance to win it.

"It definitely feels good to know that you've accomplished that, but I've got to get better. I want to help this team win. That's my ultimate goal … meaning I've got to play better or take more of a load on my shoulders. That's what I'm going to do, keep working to get better, keep working to get stronger and try to influence games even more."

Pietrangelo, along with teammate David Perron, was on hand last week to work alongside Blues prospects who were in town for their initial orientation meetings and workouts with Strength and Conditioning Coach Nelson Ayotte.

It's only the middle of July, and NHL training camps aren't scheduled to get under way for another two months. But being swept out of the playoffs in the second round by the eventual Stanley Cup champions doesn't leave a good taste in a player's mouth, particularly Pietrangelo's, the team's cornerstone blueliner.

"The further into the summer you get, the more focused you're getting towards starting to skate and working on things on the ice," said Pietrangelo, who said he's healthy from the MCL knee sprain he suffered in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Kings. "I haven't gone on the ice yet, but in a week or two, it's going to get to that point.

As the season approaches, Pietrangelo finds himself getting more and more excited.

"It's exciting, but the biggest thing for me is where this team's headed. Obviously with the re-signing of (Perron) and Scotty (Nichol) and whoever else we get a chance to sign, it's going to be another good year for us moving forward. What else (GM Doug Armstrong) does, I don't know, but what we have right now is going to be a fun part of it.

"Hopefully there's bigger and better things for all of us."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
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