Sunday, February 28, 2021

Binnington's unconventional departure fueled Blues in 7-6 win against Sharks

Goalie was pulled in second period after allowing four goals on 19 shots, 
then took shots st Sharks players as he left, including counterpart Dubnyk

Jordan Binnington's had his share of memorable moments in his young career.

Winning the Stanley Cup of course, tops them all, and the way be burst onto the scene that season in January certainly ranks right up there, but there have been some moments where he riles up the opposition and its fans in memorable fashion.
(St. Louis Blues/Scott Rovak)
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (50) was pulled in the second period of
Saturday's 7-6 win at San Jose but didn't leave quietly.

He had his moment with St. Louis media with his 'Do I look nervous?' moment. There was also the infamous comment, 'Who's Montgomery?' referring to former Dallas Stars head coach-now Blues assistant coach Jim Montgomery during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There was also the brush-up with now teammate, then with the Los Angeles Kings, Kyle Clifford, and he had a dust-up with San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane this season, which apparently has stemmed from the past.

But on Saturday in their wild 7-6 win over the Sharks at SAP Center that broke a three-game losing streak, Binnington was pulled after allowing four goals on 19 shots.

Needless to say he wasn't thrilled with the decision, and he wasn't too happy with some apparent chirping going on from the Sharks players as Binnington was leaving the ice, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

As he was skating towards the Blues' bench, Binnington did an about-face and came back towards the Sharks bench and puts a mitt in Radek Simek's face, and in San Jose, where the benches are not large enough to hold the backup goalie on the visiting bench, the second goalie has to skate off the ice on the opposite side, and as he was leaving, Binnington skated past Erik Karlsson and gave him a fake punch as if he were going to hit him, and at the end, he and counterpart Devan Dubnyk came together and each swung an arm at one another. 
He then departed, one team feeling like he just fed them some fire to get into the game and fight to the finish, and the other, wondering what the heck is he doing.

It seemed to work for the Blues (11-8-2), who rallied from down a goal four different times, then had to go ahead three different times in the third period before finally pulling out the marathon win.

Binnington left, in unconventional fashion, to say the least, and left the cage for Ville Husso to fend, which he did very well for the record, making 19 saves on 21 shots, and the Blues used their starting netminder's fire to feed off the emotion created by it.

If nobody saw what he was trying to do, then they missed out grossly.

"I've seen him do that a couple times before, but I think that was good for us," said forward Zach Sanford, who had a goal and an assist. "Obviously he was pissed off and we were pissed off. To see him do something like that and go out with some fire was good for us and getting Ville in there kind of kicking it up a level playing hard the rest of the way.

"Yeah, I think some things were said. I'm not really sure, I wasn't watching too closely to be honest, but like I said, I've seen him do that a couple times before. I think it was good for us."
Defenseman Marco Scandella, who scored his first multigoal game in the NHL and first goals with the Blues, including the game-winner in the third period, agreed.

"I love it honestly," Scandella said. "Emotion is something not everybody has. I feel like we have a lot on our team and our group and especially in a game like tonight, I love it personally. That fire's what's going to drive us and make our team better and get us to the next level.
"Absolutely (the Sharks were chirping). It's hockey though. That's part of it. It was a firey game. It was an up-and-down game. That's just what it takes and obviously there's going to be chirping. It's the game of hockey."

Binnington was assessed a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct out of it, which the Blues killed off, and it seemed to really calm things down when he left the game.

"Well, he's a fiery guy," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "That's kind of the way he is. We've seen that in the past from him. So, I didn't think a penalty was warranted on it, but you know ... he's trying to rally the team, that's what he's trying to do."

Needless to say, the Sharks weren't amused.

"I guess he'll maybe have something to report in his next interview," Kane said. "Seems like he likes to do a lot of talking. It's too bad I wasn't on the ice for that."
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Ville Husso (right) makes a save on Evander Kane during the Blues' 
7-6 win over the Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday.

"I guess he's frustrated, but I don't know why he's skating around pretending to punch guys," Dubnyk said. "I just told him to get off the ice and calm down. I mean, he's 160 pounds and he's out there swinging at guys. We all get frustrated. If you want to get into it with somebody, fine, but I don't know why he's out there fake-punching everybody. I understand guys get frustrated sometimes. He's competitive, a good goalie and he was obviously pissed off about something, but that's fine. We can look after ourselves."

From that moment on, the Blues outscored the Sharks 4-2 and won a game they probably didn't deserve when giving up six goals, but on the flip side, they found a way to put seven past Dubnyk, equaling almost as many goals as they've scored in the past five games (eight).

"We won. That's it," Berube said. "I mean we scored lots of goals tonight. Our guys battled, I thought they stuck with it and competed hard. It was obviously a back-and-forth game, lots of goals. But there was no quit in our game, which is good to see."

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