St. Louis Blues Jordan Binnington Is Quietly A Modern Day Patrick Roy

It's often not a good idea to compare a current player to one of the all time greats. However, in more ways than one, Jordan Binnington actually does hold a candle to one of the best to ever put on pads.
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) faces the Dallas Stars
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) faces the Dallas Stars / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that no St. Louis Blues fans will ever agree on - make that any hockey fan base, really - is the quality of their goaltending. Who knows the exact split, but there will always be some that think the current guy is great, some that think he's the worst ever and then a smattering that lean one way or the other.

None of this is anything new, but with social media, we get a deeper glance into it. One need look no further than about 10-plus years ago with the duel between Jaroslav Halak fans and Brian Elliott people.

As time went on, Elliott did establish himself as the Blues starter and eventually took the main job until it became a duel of him and Jake Allen. To this day, there are those that think Moose is still one of the best Blues goalies ever.

On one hand, the stats don't lie. He has the most shutouts in team history and is up there in several other categories.

Personally, I don't think Elliott was all that great, but he certainly had great moments. In a similar, but opposite view, we enter into the murky waters of the Jordan Binnington discussion.

Like Elliott, Halak and several others in franchise history, Binnington seems to bring out some of the loudest supporters and detractors. However, wherever you fall in that spectrum, it may surprise you to learn that Binnington is closer to one of the all-time greats than anyone might have expected.

From a simple look at mannerisms and mentality, Binnington is actually very close to Patrick Roy. They both play with a brashness that borders on cockiness that does not resonate at all with any fans not supporting the Blues.

Roy was a little higher on the cockiness side, whereas Binnington shows more brashness, sometimes going over the line when he swings sticks or throws blocker punches at opponents. Arguments could be made for both that their teammates didn't always like having to stick up for a goalie that was taunting opponents.

In the media, there are also similarities. Roy may not have been over the top in his media approach, but he threw barbs. His back and forth with Jeremy Roenick was always something I enjoyed, especially the remark that Roy could not hear Roenick due to his Stanley Cup rings being in his ears.

Binnington is also intriguing in his use of the media. We all remember his "do I look nervous?" statement during his rookie run to a championship. Love them or hate them, both guys rarely relied on the tired, old quotations many of us dislike from the majority of hockey players.

Even Binnington haters can likely agree with those assessments. Both players have similarities in their routines, compulsive behaviors, use of the media and semi-cockiness.

It's the stats that might surprise some. They are much more similar than even the biggest hater could ever imagine.

Using the Stathead feature on Hockey Reference shows that the players are remarkebly similar through the same points of their careers. In fact, Binnington has a slight edge in some categories through their first seven seasons.

The two started at different ages, with Roy coming in at 19 and Binnington starting closer to 23. Putting that to the side, the numbers are in line.

St. Louis Blues: Is Jordan Binnington just getting started?

Binnington played 280 games compared to 289 for Roy. Binnington had 145 regular season wins compared to 158 for Roy.

Binner actually allowed fewer goals while facing more shots (756 allowed), while Roy allowed 779. Even as a Binnington supporter, I've never considered him a shutout goalie, but he has 15 shutouts compared to 13 for Roy in the same amount of time.

Binnington had better numbers, if only slightly, in goals against and save percentage. Binner had a goals against of 2.79 and a save percentage of .908, while the Hall of Famer had stats of 2.80 and .900 in his fist seven years.

Roy got more individual honors. He had two Vezinas and a Smythe to his name in the first seven years, but a good case could have been made for Binnington to win a Smythe when the Blue won the Cup.

Both had a championship in their first seven seasons as well.

Roy takes over in the playoffs, but that speaks more to his teams' quality than a vast difference in the goalies. Roy played in 77 playoff games in his first seven years compared to 41 for Binnington.

That makes it harder to look at the numbers, but we will anyway. Binnington had playoff numbers of .910 and 2.73 with Roy coming in at .908 and 2.51.

Now, there are still several years and differing team situations that may end their careers vastly differently. The Blues are currently in a re-tool/rebuild, so another championship is not in the immediate future. Compare that to Roy who won another Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in his ninth season and two more with the Colorado Avalanche in subsequent seasons.

Roy won two more Vezinas, two more Smythes and was a six-time All Star. He added 393 more wins in his following years as well.

The future looks bright for Jordan Binnington

I can't say Binnington will come close to any of those career numbers. Much of it depends on if he stays in St. Louis or goes to another team and also whether the Blues rebuild and become a consistent contender quickly enough.

However, even if you still don't want to like him, the numbers are what they are. Binnington is a modern-day Roy.

He irritates his opponents and fans, steals games that his teams probably had no business winning, shows an odd blend of cockiness and calmness and is also a playoff performer. Sometimes Binnington and Roy would have off nights or even slightly off seasons, but they showed up in the playoffs.

Another similarity is that, no matter how good they were, fans wanted them out. Many who are old enough don't remember, and many are too young to know, but even after winning the Cup in 1986, many Canadiens fans weren't fond of Roy and wanted him out in the years that followed. That is amusing considering they likely do not win the Cup in 1993 without Roy.

Blues fans have a similar trait. Binnington has off nights, just like any goalie, but the reality is this team could be much worse without some of his big saves and standing on his head more nights than not.

I won't even make the argument that Binnington could be a Hall of Fame player. He has much more to prove to show that.

But, those that dislike him and want him traded for draft picks should note that it took a long time for the Canadiens to find Carey Price after Roy was gone. Making a deal that seems smart in the moment does not always pan out in hindsight.

Let's see if Binnington can keep this comparison going or not.