Help out your goalies
St. Louis Blues fans seem to love a goaltender controversy, even when one does not exist. Maybe it has to do with being brought into the league the same year as the Philadelphia Flyers.
However, the Flyers literally always have a goalie controversy unless they had Ron Hextall in net. The Blues are not quite on that level, but fans still find a way to make the netminder the problem.
Going back to the idea of 2019 causing problems, fans still think that Jordan Binnington should always be on that level. Sorry to break it to you, but that’s not going to happen.
Hall of Fame goaltenders had ups and downs in their career. Stats don’t always tell the story either.
When Montreal won the Stanley Cup in 1993, Patrick Roy actually had the worst statistical year of his career in a regular season. He turned it on in the playoffs because he was a big-game goalie.
Speaking of Roy, we forget that even with all-time goalies, fans want someone else. Roy lost favor in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. If fans got what they wanted, Montreal would not have won in 1993. Roy won three more Stanley Cups after he was deemed washed up by the masses.
The Blues don’t need another goaltender, or to bench Binnington in favor of Ville Husso or *smacks forehead* Charlie Lindgren. Yes, I have seen people on social media say Lindgren is this year’s Binnington, as though it’s a fashion statement that changes year to year.
The Blues simply need to play better in front of their goaltender, whether that’s Binnington, Husso, Lindgren, Joel Hofer or anyone else.
Some of this ties into the previous resolutions. The Blues need to be nastier in front of their own net and not let guys just camp out.
Part of the reason Binnington’s stats aren’t as wonderous as some want is because he can’t see the puck. Things have been better the last few weeks, but to start the year, the majority of goals beating Binnington were screens (either the opponent or his own teammate), tips or deflections and rebounds.
I’ve seen a lot of social media posts about the team plays differently in front of one goalie or the other. That may be so, but that’s on the team, not the goalie.
If the Blues play better defense for Husso or Lindgren, they need to play better defense for Binnington. Don’t rely on his big-save ability just because you have more confidence he can bail you out.
In the 2021 portion of the 2021-22 season, the Blues have allowed 1018 shots on goal. The league average is 967. That means the Blues are in the bottom half of the league in terms of giving up shots.
Shots allowed clearly doesn’t mean you’re not going to win games, but offense dries up. The Blues are not built to be the Edmtonton Oilers where they can outscore their opponent 8-7. Eventually, you have to help out your goalies and start limiting chances.
We have seen more of that in December. Hopefully it will continue to be a downward trend of shots against in 2022.
Goalies like the work. The Blues still need to help their netminder and stop relying on them to save the day because they made mistakes that were unnecessary or unforced.