Darcy Kuemper is a decent goalie. His numbers back that up.
He has a career save percentage of .918 and a goals against of 2.48. His best season saw him at .932 and 2.10.
However, it should be noted that those numbers were in 19 games with the Los Angeles Kings. The truth is that Kuemper really doesn’t have a huge sample size.
He’s basically been a backup or a 1B goalie most of his career. He’s only played 30 or more games in two seasons of his career. Kuemper was essentially .500 in both of those years.
You can make the case it was on a mediocre Minnesota or Arizona team. The fact of the matter is while his numbers have not been bad, they’re not fantastic and he’s never been “the” guy other than one season. Arizona went back to splitting time or only using Kuemper to spell their starter.
Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso are not lightyears above Kuemper, but they’re both NHL starters. I would bet that the majority of teams that missed the playoffs would be more than happy to have either Binnington or Husso as their goaltender going into 2022-23.
Both Binnington and Husso are more than capable of stealing wins for the Blues. Kuemper can get hot, just like any goaltender, but the Avalanche didn’t really win a bunch of games in 2021-22 because of goaltending.
Boil it all down and the Blues simply have the advantage in net. Avs fans might disagree, but I’m taking either Binnington or Husso over Kuemper – definitely over Pavel Francouz – any day of the week.
Binnington has proven that he can win when it matters most. Husso had a fantastic year when the Blues were struggling and his win percentage is only three points lower than Kuemper and Kuemper’s team had more wins overall.
If this series boils down to a goaltending battle, the Blues are going to come out on top, even if both goaltenders play to the best of their ability.