There have been rumblings that the Blues captain was commerce bait again when St. Louis was in final place, however the unbelievable turnaround erased Alex Pietrangelo’s identify from the rumor mill and now he finds himself one Blues win away from being the primary St. Louis participant to hoist the Stanley Cup.Alex Pietrangelo|Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty ImagesST. LOUIS – This time final 12 months, Alex Pietrangelo and his spouse, Jayne, had been getting ready to have triplets. Due to the truth that the St. Louis Blues completed one agonizing level out of the playoffs, he had already been off the ice for 2 months. One 12 months later, although, these triplets are placing Pietrangelo’s ample playoff beard to distinctive use. “My children find it irresistible,” stated Pietrangelo of Evelyn, Oliver and Theodore, who had been born final July. “They use it as leverage to face up.”
Sure, it has been fairly a 12 months for Pietrangelo, the Blues captain and the one that would be the first St. Louis Blues participant in historical past to hoist the Stanley Cup if the Blues can handle to win Recreation 6 Sunday evening on dwelling ice. Within the final 12 months, Pietrangelo has change into a father, was a part of a staff that was the worst within the NHL midway by way of the season, handled hypothesis surrounding his long-term future in St. Louis and, lastly, led his staff by way of its outstanding playoff run. No matter what occurs in Recreation 6, or Recreation 7 if crucial, it has been fairly a 12 months.
“I’ll look again on it when it’s executed,” Pietrangelo stated. “Simply keep within the second proper now and typically it’s higher since you keep in that little bubble. And when issues relax you have got an opportunity to look again, but it surely has been a fairly particular 12 months for me, little question about that.”
Previous to the Blues catching hearth, there was a time when many individuals had been questioning whether or not Pietrangelo can be moved on the commerce deadline. The Blues had been struggling and with Pietrangelo one 12 months away from unrestricted free company with a manageable $6.5-million cap hit, the idea was that the Blues may have obtained a great bounty for him on the deadline, significantly for the reason that staff getting him would even have him underneath contract by way of subsequent season.
However then the Blues began to win lots of these shut video games they’d been dropping to that time. A lot has been product of the Three-Zero win in Philadelphia Jan. 7 and the next Gloria phenomenon that ensued, however the Blues actually received themselves again within the race once they ripped off an 11-game profitable streak in late January and early February, with eight of these wins approaching the highway. Pietrangelo factors to a 1-Zero time beyond regulation win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to finish a four-game highway journey as the purpose the place the Blues actually began believing in themselves.
“To beat Tampa in Tampa on our dads’ journey, that was an emotional win for us,” Pietrangelo stated. “Having your dads there and placing a recreation collectively like that was a giant win for us and that basically gave us a giant enhance. Then we performed Nashville back-to-back in Saturday-Sunday afternoon video games and we received each video games. It’s robust to take a look at one or two particular issues, however that entire scenario once you go on these streaks typically it’s not going to be fairly. You simply have to search out methods to win and that’s what we did.”
The Blues then had a three-game highway journey the place they not solely received video games over Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota, they didn’t hand over a purpose. They went 12-1-1 in February and by the point the commerce deadline got here round Feb. 25, speak of buying and selling Pietrangelo had utterly dissipated. Now it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Blues prolong Pietrangelo’s deal someday after July 1. There was a silver lining to all these struggles for the Blues, and it has manifested itself on this playoff run. Who’s to say the Blues can be the place they’re now in the event that they hadn’t gone although these trials firstly of the season?
“Overcoming adversity, whether or not it’s dropping video games or dangerous calls, no matter it’s, it’s adversity,” Pietrangelo stated. “What we went by way of early within the 12 months, that was the toughest adversity we had been going to undergo. I assume it was good preparation for what we needed to take care of coming into the playoffs.”
And now the Blues discover themselves one victory away from profitable the Stanley Cup. Each the staff and their captain have gone by way of their fair proportion of adversity, and each have come out of it higher on the opposite aspect.
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Tags: st. louis blues, stanley cup playoffsConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. Evidently, it did not work out.