The St. Louis Blues have gotten stellar goaltending from Ville Husso as of late, but is it enough to take away significant time from Jordan Binnington?
Jordan Binnington will always be praised and celebrated by St. Louis Blues fans for his efforts during the team’s Stanley Cup run. However, young netminder Ville Husso is quickly coming into the fold in St. Louis.
Binnington has played respectfully well this season, but it hasn’t been up to par with his 2019 run. The St. Louis Blues need to quickly find out whether or not his Stanley Cup run was just a flash in the pan or if they can expect that level of play every night.
Binnington signed a six-year $36 million on March 11, 2021, and is in the first year of his big contract. However, his $6 million cap hit will tell you that he is the Blues’ number one goalie for the next six years.
His play this season has been as good as other goalies who make $6 million a year. He is 11-8-3 on the year with a .906 save percentage and has allowed 3.05 goals per game. His goals-against average is higher than what you would want, but he has kept the team in most games this season.
He is 3-2 in his last five starts, but he has allowed at least four goals in three of those games. His losses came against Pittsburgh and Toronto, two teams that could make deep runs in the playoffs in the summer.
The only problem with his 3-2 play over the last few weeks, is the play of his backup Husso. Husso, despite being drafted in the fourth round in 2014 by the Blues, was a highly-touted goalie prospect when he was in the minors.
After a breakout season (minus the first shot of games) last year, Husso has come into his own in 2021-22. He’s seen 10 starts this season for the Blues and has recorded a 6-2-1 record. His save percentage sits at .933, and he has allowed an impressive 2.22 goals per game.
Husso’s recent play has warranted the question of whether or not there needs to be a temporary switch of power between Binnington and the Finnish goalie.
Husso has recorded points for the Blues in his last five starts, including a six-game home winning streak. He has recorded wins against some of the NHL’s best teams, including the Capitals, Panthers, and Predators.
The Blues will need both goalies to be great if they want to keep pace with the Nashville Predators and the Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division, but right now, Craig Berube has a difficult decision on his hands.
Husso is the hotter of the two goalies and will likely see action in two of the Blues’ next three games. St. Louis hits the road for three games through the Pacific Division starting Friday in Seattle.
The Blues will then head to western Canada to face the Canucks and Flames in back-to-back days. Husso defeated the Kraken just five days ago and could see the net again against the NHL’s newest franchise.
Binnington figures to get one of the starts against either the Flames or the Canucks, leaving Husso to grab the other. It seems like a no-brainer for Berube to start Husso two times over the next three games.
Binnington’s contract and his resume should cement him as the Blues’ number one goalie for the remainder of the season. However, they will need Husso to be just as good as he is now, with a condensed schedule in February forthcoming.
Binnington isn’t on the hot seat, but Husso might have just plugged in the heater.