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Vegas Will Need More From Pietrangelo In The Postseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Before Alex Pietrangelo suited up for the Golden Knights he was a 0.59 point per game player. In a COVID, injury-hampered season the defenseman has only been able to contribute 13 points in 27 games (0.48). It hasn’t just been his lack of offense that’s been concerning though. Last night in LA, NBC Sports analyst Jim Fox was perplexed by a shift from Pietrangelo that led to the King’s second goal.

Alex Pietrangelo was all over the place. Look at number seven, he’s at the red line. He’s a defenseman. I was watching Pietrangelo the whole shift, he was lost and out of position. -Jim Fox, NBCSN analyst

Overall, it’s been an up-and-down first season for the 31-year-old, but there’s still time to redeem himself.

Pietrangelo is heavily leaned on by coach Pete DeBoer. He leads the team with 25:18 of ice time per 60, is second in power play minutes, and third in shorthanded TOI. Last week in St. Louis the alternate captain skated for 31:00 minutes against his former team. Currently, Pietrangelo ranks 5th in the NHL in average time on ice but 46th in points per game for a defenseman. Clearly, he’s getting the opportunity to return back to form, it just hasn’t quite happened yet.

The workload paid off last night when Pietrangelo flipped one past LA goaltender Cal Peterson. The puck was deflected by a Kings player but it was a great example of the defenseman generating offense. Also, in the 2nd period Pietrangelo calmly controlled the puck in the offensive zone and ripped a shot on net. The puck was blocked out of play but he recognized a quality scoring chance and snapped a shot without hesitation. The $8.8 million dollar man needs to factor in nightly, especially when facing Cup contenders. The production concerns of an expensive player can easily wash away if he performs in the postseason.

In 92 postseason games, Pietrangelo has accrued 51 points (8 goals, 43 assists), which averages out to be 0.55 points per game. When the former Blue led his team to a Stanley Cup championship he totaled the most assists of any player in the playoffs.

The veteran was expected to be that final piece to the puzzle and he still can be. If the defenseman returns back to the offensive threat he has been in years past, the Golden Knights will be extremely tough to defend. As long as Pietrangelo is creating offense and defending top lines Vegas will have a much better chance of advancing.

If he doesn’t, there will be a lot of puzzled looks coming his way.

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9 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    spot on.

    “Alex Pietrangelo was all over the place. Look at number seven, he’s at the red line. He’s a defenseman. I was watching Pietrangelo the whole shift, he was lost and out of position. -Jim Fox, NBCSN analyst.>>>one of the best, and he’s not NBCSN analyst, he was on loan like the VEGAS commenters were when they did the game on NBC. His regular job is LA Kings color commentator.

    And he’s spot, no. 7 is struggling with VGK “system”, as I said earlier he often takes wrong paths or lanes, initiates a tad early. Resulting in loss of puck control. Maybe doing a little bit too much.

    No. 2 is also doing the same thing, but doesn’t seem to get “caught” as much for some reason.

    And don’t get me started on no.23, he’s a sly one and uses his body well. Younger D men on team can learn a lot from 23.

    • Daryl

      I believe several of us have made similar Comme ts since 7 arrived and we get hounded for it. Looks like we aren’t the only ones who can see what’s going on.
      Personally I think he’s had time to adjust to PDB system especially considering it’s built for a player like Petra. If he plays the playoffs like he’s played the regular season, VGK does t stand much of a chance.

  2. Mikegron32

    Reminds me a little of Patch’s first year. Some guys, especially veterans who have played a certain way in the same system fo years take a little longer to adjust. I think he’ll be fine and I think he’ll be awesome in the playoffs

  3. thomas pilkington

    Too much talent not to deliver. True test is coming….as for Shea, still waiting for him to check someone with something other than his stick. Good offensive player, great skater but a tad soft on body checks.

  4. While Pietr play has improved “some” being kind – it’s a long way away for a reasonable ROI at 8.8 mill a year. When you consider they are still in CAP hell that makes it even worse. Here’s hoping – of course hope springs eternal -his performance picks up – the other guys should have to carry his load and I am not referring to TOI.

  5. TJ

    he has defeinitely not lived up to the hype or that big contract…Yet, I do think the injuries and all the games hes missed has hampered his season so far but i still think hes too talented not to be a BIG factor in the playoffs and he better be since we will most likely be facing the wild in round one (since the avs apparently just cant lose) and if we get by them it will be the match up we all want to see and it should be epic! if hes on top of his game, we can win!!!

  6. Tim

    I’m of the mindset that not much can be done and hopefully he get’s his rhythm. I like the above comment about Patch in his first year here not playing up to what we expected.

    • Tim ‘ and there was talk a out getting rid of Patch this yr along with or together with Fleury. Just thought l would bring that into the conversations fir kicks.

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    As I have commented a few times ….. I think Petro will turn up the effort/performance in the playoffs.

    He was considered a top 5 Dman in the NHL by most “experts” and teams. So he has the talent. Also he’s a recent Cup winner. Sometimes it takes these kind of guys to be playing in POs to really get going.

    This is what I am hoping for. We’ll see.

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