As the St. Louis Blues start the first five games of the season at 2-2-1, things are looking decent enough for them as they continue their first road trip of 2023-24 across the northern border.
Both of their wins so far this season have come at home, against the likes of Seattle in a 2-1 shootout decision for the team’s home opener and an edging of Eastern powerhouse Pittsburgh 4-2 this past weekend. However, it’s the road mentality that needs a bit of work, especially after last night’s 4-2 defeat to Central Division rival Winnipeg.
The goaltending is one part of that, especially with Jordan Binnington’s three goals allowed on 29 shots faced, making for an average of a puck in the next seven shots.
For the record, in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Pittsburgh, Binnington made 31 saves on 33 shots, pushing his save percentage to .959 (fourth in the NHL) and his goals-against average to 1.26 (fifth in the NHL) this season.
But Binnington alone isn’t just the only Blue making waves so far this early on in the season- D Colton Parayko has also shown some fire as of late, and has been instrumental for the Blues in killing plays and exiting the zone, in addition to being the Blues’ best defenseman in terms of limiting shot attempts, shots on goal, and scoring chances/goals.
Moreover, Parayko is also the Blues’ go-to when it comes to defending against the opposing lines, most definitely a good thing for someone who, last season, was often rather hesitant to do so, leading to some light criticism. But when Parayko is on the ice, opponents have only scored once at even strength in the Blues’ four games this season, so something is clearly working there.
Hopefully, this defensive duo can continue working the rest of the team as the season continues and maybe in a few months from now (albeit way into 2024), be the anchor for a solid playoff run, something the Blues have been looking for since their only title a mere four years prior.