ST. LOUIS -- NHL intellectuals, including Blues Hall of Famer Al MacInnis, tell you a young defenseman needs 200 games of experience in the league before he shows his true colors. Alex Pietrangelo has played in only 48. But NHL intellectuals can't account for celestial intervention.
"It looks like he's been touched by a wand by God," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Christmas comes but once a year, but Pietrangelo has been coming since the fall of 2008. Still just 20 years old, still a relative rookie -- despite an absurd NHL technicality that says otherwise -- the native of King City, Ontario, has been gaining boosters such as Babcock throughout the land.