Sep 17, 2013, 8:49 PM EDT
“Under Pressure” is a preseason series we’ll be running on PHT. For each team in the NHL, we’ll pick one player, coach, GM, mascot or whatever that everyone will be watching closely this season. Feel free to play the song as you read along. Also feel free to go to the comment section and tell us we picked poorly.
For the St. Louis Blues, we pick … Alex Pietrangelo.
As the fourth pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, much has been expected of the 23-year-old defenseman, but this is the year he’ll be expected to join the true elite level of blueliners. No doubt, he’s still young, yet his $6.5 million cap hit deletes excuses (reasonable or not).
Much like Pietrangelo, the Blues are entering a pivotal point where strong regular seasons are meaning a lot less unless they’re accompanied by a deep playoff run. Pietrangelo’s the second-highest paid Blues player behind Jay Bouwmeester, so people will expect that pairing to make the jump with St. Louis.
That’s especially true if the Blues run into the Los Angeles Kings – a team that’s clearly their kryptonite – in the playoffs once more. Pietrangelo has been compared to Doughty repeatedly, but the difference between the two so far is that the latter has enjoyed deep playoff runs and a Stanley Cup victory.
Pietrangelo’s also likely to be a part of Team Canada’s potentially impressive defensive corps, and it’s easy to see how much pressure comes with that duty.
Young or not, this Blues blueliner carries huge expectations next season.
For all of our Under Pressure series, click here.
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 9
- Price makes 43 saves as Senators’ magical run ends in controversy 35
- Video: Fast whistle costs Senators potentially critical goal 14
- WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action 3
- Another Blues campaign ends in disappoint as Wild advance 94
- Crosby joining Team Canada at Worlds 18
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for today 12
- One more time, with feeling: Flames stage yet another comeback, eliminate Vancouver 25
- Keith conquers: Blackhawks come back, eliminate Predators 49
- Red Wings smother Lightning, take 3-2 series lead 23
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (110)
- Another Blues campaign ends in disappoint as Wild advance (94)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)