SAN JOSE - Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo expected more responsibility and perhaps even more ice time when the club traded defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals at the end of February.
More responsibility and more ice time is exactly what he got.
Without Shattenkirk manning the point on the top power-play unit, Pietrangelo has slid into that spot quite nicely. He has posted three points on the power play in the eight games since the deal and has 14 points with the man-advantage this season, which is the third-highest total in his career.
Since losing Shattenkirk - who ranked first on the club with 20 power-play points - the Blues have gone 5-for-20 (25 percent) with the man-advantage, which ranks sixth-best in the League in that time frame.
"Obviously you've got some pretty important offensive players on that unit," Pietrangelo said. "I'm just trying to keep it simple. I told the guys from the start, I'm not 'Shatty' and I'm not going to try and do what he did (on the power play). It's been working for us so far. We can't try to recreate what Shatty did, but if each of us chips in a little bit, we'll get there."
Video: Pietrangelo enjoying increased ice time
Pietrangelo has also seen his ice time go up nearly three full minutes since the deal. In the games before Feb. 27, the Blues defenseman averaged 24 minutes and 51 second per game. Since Feb. 27, Pietrangelo is averaging 27 minutes and 23 seconds, which ranks third in the League overall.
"I think most of us feel better the more we play," Pietrangelo said. "I get into the game when I'm on ice there a little bit more. I've taken it with open arms. I think me and (Colton Parayko) and (Robert Bortuzzo) have been on the right side there trying to fill in for Shatty. It's a good opportunity for us."