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Pietrangelo achieves Blues first, Shattenkirk poised to follow

Feb 9, 2014, 8:03 PM EDT

St. Louis Blues defensemen Alex Pietrangelo, left, and Kevin Shattenkirk (22) celebrate after Shattenkirk scored against the New York Rangers during the third period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. The Blues defeated the Rangers 2-1. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) AP

The St. Louis Blues should consider themselves lucky to have a defenseman like 24-year-old Alex Pietrangelo. It’s incredible that they have a spare.

Back on Thursday, Pietrangelo became the first St. Louis Blues defeseman in history to record at least 40 points in each of his first three full campaigns. Given that it wasn’t a full campaign, the shortened 2013 season doesn’t factor into this.

Before Pietrangelo, the last blueliner to accomplish that feat in the NHL was Dion Phaneuf, who did so while playing with the Calgary Flames from 2005-08. We’re probably not going to have to wait another six years to see it happen again though. In fact, barring an injury, Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk should replicate Pietrangelo’s accomplishment by the end of March (albeit not exclusively with the Blues in Shattenkirk’s case).

Shattenkirk, 25, already has eight goals and 36 points in 56 games this season.

This is just the latest example of how rare it is to have a defensive duo this good. The Blues are fortunate to have them both locked up too, as Pietrangelo is in the first season of a seven-year, $45.5 million contract while Shattenkirk has begun his four-year, $17 million deal. Throw in Jay Bouwmeester and Barret Jackman and their defense has been one of the Blues’ strengths this season.

St. Louis will resume its season on Feb. 26, but in the meantime, Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester will play for Team Canada while Kevin Shattenkirk will represent the United States.

  1. csilojohnson - Feb 9, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    I find it odd that blueliners seem to be judged more by thier offensive numbers then defensive play.
    Media, Norris, etc.
    Nothing against these two guys btw.

    • lowenni - Feb 9, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      Just as with forwards, point totals are what grabs attention. Ultimately, it is goals that win games. Defenders nowadays need to have two way capability to be real difference makers. It’s the same with forwards. Why do most consider players like Ovechkin and Crosby to be the best over Bergeron or Toews? They put up points, that’s the type of thing you have to build a franchise around.

      @slaugin, Karlsson is a fantastic defenseman. I think Chara should’ve won the Norris over him that year, but if you put up almost 80 points as a defenseman then you’re just automatically one of the best D-men in the league. That’s more production than almost every forward in the league.

      • vanindeed - Feb 9, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        Chara is still the player teams have game plans around. He should have a Norris every year

    • tdrusher225 - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      It’s the same mentality that won Karlsson the Norris a couple years ago, which was a joke. Meanwhile, defensemen like Suter, Chara, and Weber get passed over.

  2. slaugin - Feb 9, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I agree, Karlson for example is terrible in his own end and won a noris

  3. sigep316 - Feb 9, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    They are a great duo, but as a blues fan I still believe MacInnis and Pronger were a stronger all around duo.

    • packerswin96 - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      MacInnis and Pronger were in their prime, these 2 are a couple of years away from that yet, they will only get better.

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