When the Norris Trophy nominees were released, Blues fans saw - or didn’t see - a familiar sight. Alex Pietrangelo didn’t finish in the top three for voting despite an excellent season. Some folks, like our own Dan Buffa, were disappointed by the league’s snub of Pietrangelo. Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, and John Carlson are tough competition, and it’s very easy to argue that fourth place in voting (if that’s where he finished) is a fair spot for Pietrangelo to finish.
Petro finished fourth in NHL Tonight’s “Top 20 Defensemen Right Now.” This was a huge jump for the Blues’ captain, who rose from 11th place last year on the same countdown. Obviously, this takes into consideration Pietrangelo’s leadership and key role in leading the Blues to their first Stanley Cup in team history. It also takes into consideration his regular season production bounceback. In 70 games played, Petro had 16 goals and 36 assists. Those 52 points are an uptick over last season’s 13 goals and 28 assists in 71 games played.
NHL Tonight co-host Kevin Weekes had this to say about Petro:
Alex Pietrangelo is so steady and so consistent, if you didn’t know how good he was then, just go back and re-watch the playoffs from last year. This guy, to me, is going to go down as the best defenseman probably in their history and let’s hope that they are able to re-sign him and come to an agreement because I love watching him play. He’s a quintessential St. Louis Blue.
Blues fans can read that and just let it add to their pending post-postseason anxiety about re-signing the Blues’ cornerstone defenseman and, arguably, player. For right now, though, it’s a boost of pre-playoff positivity. If Pietrangelo continues his regular-season performance, the Blues could be well on their way to a repeat.
If you want to check out where the rest of the Blues rank on NHL Tonight’s lists, head over to their website. They’re very well represented.
In case you’re curious, here’s the show’s top ten defensemen:
- Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
- John Carlson, Washington Capitals
- Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
- Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
- Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes
- Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins
- Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets