Through the last few games of the St. Louis Blues’ 2022-23 season, it has come to attention that starting goaltender Jordan Binnington’s behavior is getting out of control. Since as early as the 2018-19 season, Binner has landed himself in hot water with various on-ice antics.
One of the notable ones was throwing a water bottle at the Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri during Game 3 postgame of last season’s 2nd round series loss. Sure, Kadri slammed right into Binner and knocked him out for the remainder of the series while effectively killing any chance St. Louis had of coming back in said series, and that was just the latest controversial bit for Kadri himself as one of the NHL’s more hated players, but it was still pretty unprofessional.
This season saw Binnington get into it with the Penguins’ Jason Zucker on multiple occasions. Not just once, but on at least 3 separate instances, he had some serious beef with the Pittsburgh left winger.
The first incident took place late in the first period where Binnington used his catcher glove to clip Zucker, who immediately went down in a heap after racing around Binnington’s net. Now, looking at the video, Zucker pretty much sold his reaction like he was a soccer player getting shot with a sniper rifle, but still – not necessary for Binnington to pull that. Later on, Binnington’s antics continued against Zucker when he slapped him with his mitt. Zucker did take a swipe at Binnington just before, though.
Binner’s final straw was his chirping of the Penguins bench after getting pulled with an allowance of 4 goals on 17 shots early in the 2nd period. That earned him a game misconduct penalty for 10 minutes.
At this point, you’d be surprised to learn that Jordan Binnington’s behavior hasn’t gotten him either a fine or a suspension. It has, however, drawn considerable ire from Blues head coach Craig Berube. Do you know what he said about it?
“It’s got to stop. It doesn’t help anything. Just play goal, stop the puck.”
Simple as that. That is what goaltenders do every game anyway. But until Binnington gets his act together, St. Louis’ starting goalie may shift to Thomas Greiss becoming the new normal.
Binnington is clearly frustrated and talking about it to the media, which likely won’t help his spot with the team or coach. Here’s what he had to say to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic:
"“I feel good. I’m just trying to stay focused and clear the mind a little bit. I think sometimes when things aren’t going well as a group, you kind of let that sink into your game. I’m definitely frustrated. I’m not here to waste my time. I want to win every game, and it’s definitely frustrating when you feel like … but it is what it is.”"
In the meantime, here’s a compilation of Binnington losing it for your enjoyment:
Some fans find it entertaining and think it gives the team a spark. Maybe that was true in the past, but this season it has been nothing but distraction.
Now, there are even whispers of dissention in the locker room because players might not be sticking up for Binnington as much due to them paying the price for his antics. Whether that’s true or not is anyone’s guess, but like Berube said, he needs to just worry about stopping pucks.