The St. Louis Blues find themselves in an interesting position. Going into the playoffs, they had pretty much settled on their number one goaltender, at least to start.
Even with the best laid plans, you have to be able to adapt. St. Louis did that by turning to Jordan Binnington in Game 4 against the Minnesota Wild.
Goaltending is always a hot-button topic in every NHL city, especially St. Louis. No offense to Blues fans, but the only fan base I’ve seen be more ruthless and want a quicker hook is in Philadelphia.
There’s many reasons the Flyers have not won a Stanley Cup since the 1970’s. One of those reasons is they have a revolving door in goal.
The Blues were not quite to that level, but they had not solidified a number one for more than a handful of seasons in decades. Once they won the Cup, most thought Binnington would be that guy going forward.
The team seemed to agree. They gave him a multi-year contract worth $6 million per season.
It was all set to be a match made in heaven. Well, heaven on earth is never quite the same as we hope the eventual destination will be.
Binnington struggled the last two playoff years, though you could give a slight pass due to all the pandemic restrictions. Nevertheless, the luster had come off.
Ville Husso was seen as the next man up even before Binnington got the reigns. If not for an injury to Husso, Binnington would have never gotten his look in 2019.
We all know the rest of that story.
Now, the book is still being written. The tables have also turned.
Binnington lost his mojo for much of 2021-22 and lost his spot to Husso. Neither goaltender was spectacular down the stretch of the regular season, but Husso was still the more dependable of the two, so it made sense for him to enter the playoffs as the starter.
While Husso was not really at fault, it cannot be ignored that the Blues found themselves down 2-1 in the series with Husso in net. The series got evened up with Binnington in net and the team playing well in front of him.
So, what do they do now? I say stick with Binnington, for now anyway.