5. Jordan Binnington
We will get this one out of the way first. There are going to be plenty of fans out there that will wonder how anyone could not list Jordan Binnington as the top player for the Blues this regular season.
Despite their beliefs to the contrary, Binnington is no savior. He had the good fortune to be put in the net when the team was finally coming together. I am still of the belief that the Blues would have done just as well with Jake Allen in there if they played the same kind of defense.
This section is not for that debate, however. The bottom line is that Binnington took advantage of his good fortune and gave no reason for anyone to ever take him out again.
We can debate whether he is actually the best goaltender in the league, with various factors backing up either side. The truth of it is that Binnington put up stats that outshined a lot of his counterparts and not all of that was due to a good team around him.
This is not a situation like the Washington Capitals of last year or Detroit Red Wings in their hayday. There was not this supreme crop of talent propping up the goaltending and covering up every mistake. Binnington still had to go out there, make the saves and win the games.
His calm demeanor seemed to calm the team in front of him. In turn, that turned into confidence in all other areas of the game, knowing Binnington was not going to crumble like some rookie and he was going to have their back when they made a mistake.
Gone were the early season SNAFU’s and awful mistakes that plagued the Blues earlier in the season. Binnington was not the only reason for the change in the team, but it cannot be argued that he was one of the reasons.
He had more help than his predecessor, but you do not get a 1.89 save percentage by sheer luck. The defense was improved, but it is still difficult to get five shutouts in a year.
I may not hold him or his efforts in the esteem others do, but nobody can deny he has won. He has been the backbone of this team and save for the odd mistake here or there, has been quite flawless on his way through this year.