Blues rookie defenseman Colton Parayko keeps making incredible plays. Thursday night, he made a desperation play that turned into a diving stick save on New York Rangers winger J.T. Miller.
St. Louis Blues rookie defenseman Colton Parayko has done everything that has been asked of him this season. Through 16 games, the 22-year-old blueliner has been a staple of the top-four on the blueline, has managed five goals and 11 points and has played steady minutes on the power play.
But Parayko is contributing on the defensive side of the puck, as well. And while his role since the return of Kevin Shattenkirk has been more limited, Parayko found a way to impress Thursday night, this time using his stick for something other than putting up points.
Seconds into the second frame, with the Blues already trailing 3-1, with goaltender Brian Elliott down and out, Parayko found himself chasing New York Rangers winger J.T. Miller to a loose puck. Miller beat Parayko and was able to get a shot off, but the freshman rearguard laid out and made a miraculous save with the shaft of his stick:
Parayko’s stop was huge in the sense it was a desperation attempt that stopped a surefire goal, but also in that it allowed the Blues to come down the ice and bring the game within one thanks to a snipe from Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues would end up making the game as close as 4-3 in the second period, but the Rangers added two goals in the third period to take a 6-3 victory.
Whether or not Parayko’s level of play will continue for the entire campaign is to be seen, but it’s extremely hard to count him out of the race for the Calder Trophy right now. His 11 points are fifth in rookie scoring and put him eighth among all defensemen in the league and tops among rookie blueliners. That’s not to mention he has held his own on a Blues team that is attempting to reverse some serious post-season misfortune from the past three seasons.