Win: Jordan Binninton
The Blues have a heck of a defense, though it will be a different style of defense than we’ve seen in the past. The players are more dynamic and skate better, but also might get caught up ice more often.
With that in mind, the Blues need their goaltender to be on top of their game. Regardless of what happens the rest of the year, I believe Jordan Binnington will be at his absolute best in this game.
We can argue about his consistency, but he plays best with a chip on his shoulder. He’s had to sit for months with all the chatter of how he fell flat on his face in the 2020 playoffs.
You’re kidding yourself if you think he’s not somewhat aware of all that. That’s actually going to put him on top of his game right away, similar to how the insult of almost going to the ECHL in 2018 put a fire under him when he got his shot in 2019.
We saw glimpses of the 2018-19 Binnington in the team’s final scrimmage game. Though he did allow some goals that were not his fault, he also made some spectacular saves.
There was one towards the end of the contest that was reminiscent of the sprawling save he made in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. It was not quite as athletic as that, but it showed that Binnington is ready to make those stops.