Defensive Pairing One: Justin Faulk–Alex Pietrangelo
I will be honest, this line straight up does not work very well. But, because the other two defensive lines make more sense, this is the only option.
Plus, these guys are two massively talented players. They should eventually be able to find a way to work together – right?
Alex Pietrangelo had a fantastic regular season with 52 points and three game-winning goals. He averaged just over 24 minutes of ice time per night and collected 4.3 defensive points shares. The captain showed himself as one of the best defensemen in the game of hockey.
Justin Faulk, on the other hand, has not lived up to the contract extension going in next year. He posted just 16 points and 2.3 defensive point shares compared to 35 points and 4.9 defensive point shares last season with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The new Blues defenseman has received a lot of hate from fans this season, but it is not time to give up on him just yet. He is still a legitimate threat and my colleague Todd Panula recently wrote about why we should continue to have faith in him.
This does not change the fact that we have two right-handed defensemen accustomed to playing the right defensive slot on the same line. They seem somewhat awkward together, but hopefully, they can figure it out if they find themselves sharing ice.