Binnington Showed Improvement in 2023-24 Season Compared to Last Season

The Blues' top goaltender, last season the league's most villainous netminder, improved his numbers this season compared to last
Edmonton Oilers v St Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

One bright spot for the St. Louis Blues this season, despite them missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year, happened to be arguably their most polarizing player. Goaltender Jordan Binnington improved his numbers in 2023-24.

He picked up 27 wins and 21 losses, a slight improvement from his 27-27 win-loss total in 2022-23. He also allowed far fewer goals, 156 this season compared to nearly 200 total last season.

Another vast improvement was his save percentage, notching an impressive .913, his best since the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns. In 2022/23, that percentage was substantially lower at .894. It's a bit off from his career best of .927, which he achieved during the Blues' Cup-winning campaign in 2018-19, but for someone of his skill level, that number is still good enough.

Binnington also substantially dropped his penalty minutes total, which was probably the best change he made in 2023-24. 2022-23 was a rough time for the 30-year-old Richmond, Ont. native, where he racked up 28 minutes that his teammates served, thanks in part to his multiple temper tantrums that season against the likes of the Kings, Hurricanes, and Penguins. Minnesota can also join Binnington's hitlist, as he went after Wild RW Ryan Hartman once or twice. For those other incidents, it was more directed towards the whole opposing team, or rather, its bench.

But enough about the negative. Going back to his .913 save percentage this season, that's quite an impressive number, given how many shots Binnington faced. He faced 1786 total shots, which is a lot for any NHL goalie, but considering that's a decrease from the 1826 he faced in 2022-23, whether or not that's bad doesn't matter too much.

Binnington's GAA also dropped from 3.31 to 2.84, another significant drop like most of his stats this season. He still has yet to return to numbers like the ones he put up in his first few seasons in the league, but the most important thing he focused on this season, unlike last, was actually doing his job and not letting his emotions get the better of him. An NHL goaltender has two main jobs: stopping pucks in the games and stopping themselves from losing their minds in said games.

One last thing to praise Binnington on is how well he played alongside backup Joel Hofer, especially given that Hofer entered his first full professional season with the Blues in 2023-24. Binnington's strong mentorship helped Hofer in many ways, leading to him playing in a solid amount of games. Hofer saw action 30 times to be exact, with all but 3 of those being starts, holding a 15-12 record, an identical save percentage of .913, and a stellar 2.65 goals against average.

The goaltending is looking strong for the St. Louis Blues already just a couple weeks into their offseason. It may get even stronger from there, If the Blues bolster their defense, among other things that can improve for 2024-25.