ST. LOUIS Alex Pietrangelo rushed to pack a large duffle bag after a recent loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, knowing a complete defensive approach is needed to complement the St. Louis Blues' strong goaltending.
Last Friday, the Blues defenseman stood near his locker at the Scottrade Center after Brian Elliott had surrendered foul goals, a performance that added to St. Louis' late-season slide.
Defense is a group effort, Pietrangelo said after the Blues' fourth loss in as many games. It's a grind, and Elliott and Jaroslav Halak have made St. Louis one of the NHL's best with their play near the net all season.
But Pietrangelo and others know more is necessary to help the William Jennings Trophy winners in the postseason. For the Blues to advance deep in the NHL playoffs they begin a best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday at the Scottrade Center they must improve their defensive intensity.
Yes, Elliott and Halak are elite th...