Alex Pietrangelo, a defenseman who was chosen No. 4 in the first round of the 2008 Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, is one of 24 players within the organization attending the NHL Prospects Tournament this week in Traverse City, Mich. Pietrangelo has agreed to give an inside look at the tournament both on and off the ice. Return to NHL.com for more of Alex Pietrangelo's Traverse City blog throughout the week.
Leaving Traverse City on a positive note
09.15.2010 / 5:51 p.m. (ET)
Well, it was our final day in Traverse City and we really wanted to finish on a positive note against the Blue Jackets … that was the big thing for us. The other thing is guys are still playing for jobs. It's wasn't a nothing game, everyone is still trying to earn a spot. We knew both teams would come out flying since we both had tough losses. You want to go into camp on a positive note and that's certainly what we did.
There were some fights and it was certainly was an entertaining game to be a part of (a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh-place game) and we scored all five goals (on eight attempts) on the power-play. It would have been nice if the game were for first place instead of seventh place, but it is what it is.
Personally, I felt good in all the games. It's always nice to get a goal and we kind of rolled the lines more on Wednesday than we did in previous games, so it's good to get everyone in there for the last game and then off to camp.
This is the last impression on scouts for some of these guys before the cuts are made either Wednesday or Thursday morning, so that's part of it but it was also a chippy game. There was a lot of physical play but that's all part of it.
Now we'll get on a plane and go home and talk to everyone on the plane. On Thursday morning, wake up and I think we have a day off, so I'll kick back, take a deep breath and get ready for Friday when camp starts and we'll see what happens. As I've said before, I'll do what got me here in the first place. My goal is just like everyone else'. I'm trying to make the team. That's what I intend to do.
Thanks for reading everyone and enjoy the season!
-- Alex Pietrangelo
Coming down to the wire
09.15.2010 / 12:30 a.m. (ET)
Hi all! During our off-day on Monday, we had a mini-golf tournament and just kind of hung low. We were going to do a team dinner but most of us just kind of went with our families and kind of did our own thing. We thought it would be a good idea to let people get away from everybody and just kind of regroup their thoughts so it was a pretty relaxing day overall. The weather was nice so couldn't complain!
On Tuesday night, we lost another tough one (2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings) and how we lost it was even tougher (on a goal 16:18 into the third period).
But, there were a lot of positives in the game. In the third period we made a lot of turnovers but other than that it was a pretty positive effort moving forward.
(With three seconds remaining in the third, Pietrangelo was whistled for goalie interference and a 10-minute game misconduct) There were so many guys battling in front of the net late in the game when we had pulled our goalie for the extra attacker and I went toward the cage. I guess I nicked the goalie … I don't know, and then one thing led to another.
Now, we're looking to close out the tournament with a victory (against the New York Rangers in the 5th-place game at 2:30 p.m.). Certainly if we won on Tuesday, we would have been in the finals, but we lost and we are where we are now so we'll just refocus and guys are still playing for spots on the team this year so everyone will be fired up for the game.
Personally, I felt good with my effort. Playing with Ian (Cole), I really felt comfortable out there. We both moved the puck pretty well. Team wise, we've done a pretty good job. We knew we had a pretty good team coming in and it's tough to lose the way we did. We're hoping to close out on a positive note now.
Check back tomorrow night for my final blog.
-- Alex Pietrangelo
Power-less against Dallas
09.12.2010 / 11:55 p.m. (ET)
Well, we had a tough one tonight -- a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars.
The positive we can take out of it is that we allowed just one goal on 13 power-play chances by them. But that also goes along with the negatives, because you can't win a game when you're shorthanded for half the game. The thing is, we played pretty good hockey when it was 5-on-5 and worked hard and played physical, which was what we wanted to do going into the game.
It certainly wasn't the start you look for but it's going to be tough to win games when you're shorthanded for that long.
It's tough to evaluate my overall game since we were shorthanded for so long, so it's tough to analyze. Now we'll just have to regroup and get ready for Tuesday.
We had a team dinner Sunday night and we'll play some paintball on Monday with a team movie and dinner, just to keep it loose. It's still early and it's the first week for everybody. It's the start of the season so everyone is a little sore, so we don't want to make it too difficult. We'll practice Monday morning and take it easy and enjoy the time we're here.
At the end of the game, our coach pointed out the obvious. We all knew what the issues were and he just kind of reassured it and now we have to forget about it. Just have to move forward and not dwell on the loss; we just have to get ready for our next opponent (Detroit on Tuesday, 7 p.m.).
-- Alex Pietrangelo
Setting the scene in Traverse; Victory!
09.12.2010 / 8:00 a.m. (ET)
Hi all. Thanks for checking in.
We got into Traverse City on Thursday night and everyone was kind of everywhere at first. We had a meeting and, because there are some new guys to the area and few guys who know each other, it was kind of quiet.
On Friday we had practice and it kind of starts with the guys who have been here for the summer, like myself, Phil (McRae), Ian (Cole) and Delli (Stefan Della Rovere). We just kind of loosened up the room a little bit and it went pretty well.
We had a mini-golf tournament Friday night -- we're just trying to keep it loose. It's been a lot of fun and it's a good bunch of guys and you have to get everyone comfortable in being in their first pro camp and it's our first camp as a team. It kind of starts with us as leaders and works its way down.
We won our tournament opener on Saturday against Tampa Bay. From a team standpoint, there will be mistakes, it's your first game in 6-7 months, so in that sense, there were a couple of turnovers you want to correct but overall a pretty good hockey game. I thought we played pretty well defensively and certainly the offense was there with the guys we have; you're going to get those chances. It was physical out there and it was a good first game to get under our legs and tomorrow will be a better test (against St. Louis, 2:30 p.m.)
We're excited about this year, playing here, especially when you have this many guys who finished fourth and fifth the last couple of years. We have high expectations for ourselves and hopefully we can meet those expectations. It's always tough not winning, so this year we want to put our best foot forward and come out with the win.
-- Alex Pietrangelo