We’ve been here before
This would not be the first time the Blues have swapped up goalies in the playoffs. It will likely not be the last time either.
This stuff happens. A team doesn’t perform well enough in front of their goalie or the goalie has a hiccup or two, that team turns to their other netminder and then they ride him for a few games.
We don’t even have to look that far in the past for the Blues example. During the 2020 playoffs, the Blues started with Binnington.
Both he and the team were not playing well at all. St. Louis turned to Jake Allen, who started in both wins against the Vancouver Canucks to tie that series.
It did not work out perfectly as Allen lost Game 5 and then Binnington allowed four goals in 28 minutes in Game 6. Nevertheless, it showed that the Blues were not afraid to go back and forth depending on whichever guy they thought would give them the best opportunity on that night.
The Blues did it with Allen and Brian Elliott too. Allen played in five games in 2015-16 and started two of those. St. Louis was trying to ride Elliott’s hot hand and came within two games of the Cup final.
So, that is all they would be doing right now. They would be riding the hot hand.
The Blues would be free to go back to Husso if Binnington looks shaky, win or lose. They would not be wrong to keep going with Binnington either.
None of these decisions would impact their decision for next season either. As well as Elliott played in 2016, the Blues knew they were ready to give the net to Allen and the finances demanded room be made.
Conversely, the Blues might be forced to stick with Binnington in 2022-23 no matter what Husso does in these playoffs. Or, they may very well look to move Binnington’s contract and let Husso take over. Remember, St. Louis still has Joel Hofer in the wings and he’s another “goaltender of the future”.
So, whatever the Blues do right now in this series or the next, doesn’t impact that much. It’s an old cliche, but the Blues are literally taking this one game at a time.
I say stick with Binnington, but only for now. If he wins the next one, keep going.
If he wins the series, start Binnington against Colorado. If he falters in Game 1 of that potential series, you swap back to Husso.
In the past, I would have been completely against this idea. You used to treat goalies like quarterbacks – if you don’t have a clear starter, you don’t have two good enough to win. Things have changed.
Honestly, you cannot win without two goalies. The Montreal Canadiens came close riding Carey Price, but that’s the exception, not the rule these days. Even Tampa needed to rely on their backup here and there.
The Blues are fortunate enough to have two goalies that can win you games. Might as well utilize that and reward the guy who just got you a win.