Just watching the game, we all know that Alex Pietrangelo is a stud, the real deal. Dude is calm, plays a solid two way game, blocks shots when he needs to, and reads the game and anticipates the play so well. Safe to say, there's pretty strong anecdotal evidence that he's a solid player who contributes on both ends of the ice. I noticed Petro putting up another two points tonight, and got to thinking, 12g-36a-48pts-+17 in 75 games, dude's having a hell of a season. He's 3rd among all defensemen in points scored 15th among all d-men for +/-. Where it gets interesting is when you start to dig deeper.
I dug a bit further on nhl.com and behindthet (http://www.behindthenet.ca/), and I was pleased to discover that some of the finer details and advanced statistics further bolster a potential Petro for Norris candidacy. His time on ice ranks in the top 30 among all defensemen in both even strength, PP, and PK, with a notable 12th ranking for PK time. Compare this to a guy who's been getting a lot of support for the Norris lately, Erik Karlsson, who is clearly protected defensively with his 166th ranked PK TOI, and Petro stands out as a better defensive player.
That said, he is also a great asset offensively on the PP with his 6 PPG & 17 PPA, putting him at a tie for 5th in the NHL among all d-men in both categories. You an argue for some clutch factor as well with his 6 GWG, which puts him in 1st place among all NHL d-men.
Although his quality of competition is not as strong as other defensemen, his Corsi Rating is 8th best at even strength and he manages to finish with possession of the puck in the offensive zone just as often as he starts with the puck in the offensive zone (50.3%), which is not seen by most players. I'm feeling lazy at this point and don't want to compare all the numbers, but a quick glance at these various stats I've thrown out here show that Petro stacks up very comparably to the likes of Karlsson, Weber, Suter, and Chara, all some of the top defensemen in the league this year, or at least the ones getting Norris trophy talk.
I know this may be an afterthought with the great season the Blues are having and the potential to truly have a great run in the playoffs, but damnit, it's fun to get some recognition and hardware on top of everything else. With Hitch potentially up for the Jack Adams, Halak & Elliott most likely keeping the Jennings trophy on lock down, it'd be cool to have a trifecta of NHL award winners. Just some food for thought. Great win tonight! Why not the St. Louis Blues?