Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Berube wants to see Binnington, team get swagger back

Goalie has struggled with 2-8-3 record past 14 starts; feels 
his swagger never left as Blues fight to stay in playoff race

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Jordan Binnington said his swagger's still there, coach Craig Berube said he'd like to see him get it back.

"Yeah, I always have swagger," Binnington said. "It's different at times. Every game is different. Sometimes I just do my job and make the saves I'm supposed to make. Sometimes you do more. You want to win those games 1-0, 2-0. I always want to play hard and have fun doing it. That's what it's about for me."
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (50) makes a save on Colorado's Nathan
MacKinnon last Friday at Ball Arena in Denver.

"You know, for me, it's a swagger that he's always had, and I would like to see him get that back," Berube said. "That's a big thing, I think, for our team, but not only for our team but for him. Binner's been a great goalie in this league. He's done some great things, he's won a Cup. There's no reason he shouldn't have that swagger."

There's a difference of opinion between goalie and coach, and it's reflective of how the Blues' recent play has gone.

Well, the results are pretty cut and dry for the Blues and their play of late: it's been shoddy to bad. Plain and simple, it's not been good, but for the Blues (16-16-6) to get out of this 0-6-1 funk they're in, they will need their No. 1 goalie to put up better numbers that have suggested as of late.

Binnington, who recently received a six-year extension worth $36 million, is 2-8-3 in his past 14 starts with a 3.22 goals-against average and .888 save percentage before he came on in relief of Ville Husso Monday night and made 12 saves on 13 shots in a 6-1 loss to Vegas.
The Blues simply need him to be better.

"Just make a couple more saves," Binnington said. "Same approach, prepare the best we can, focus and give the team a chance to win. Yeah, that's where that's at.

"Obviously it hasn't been smooth, but the season is filled with adversity and ups and downs. It's how we respond. We've been putting in work. We've just got to prepare, focus and just play hard."

Binnington, who steered the Blues to their first Stanley Cup in 2019, was on the ice after the morning skate Monday with goalie coach Dave Alexander putting in the extra work when Husso, who was lifted after allowing five goals on 19 shots, was given a second straight start for the first time in the NHL.

"No, the game doesn't change," Binnington said when asked anything specific he was working on. "We put our work in, we put good work in. If anything, just more focus in practices."
The Blues, who are 0-6-2 their past eight games at Enterprise Center, currently sit five points outside the fourth and final spot to make the playoffs in the West Division, tied with the San Jose Sharks for fifth with 38 points trailing the Arizona Coyotes.

With 18 games remaining, the Blues are running short on games and on points.

"Yeah, we fight until the end, we compete," Binnington said. "We believe in each other and it's time. It's time to hold ourselves accountable, putting in the work every day, prepare the best way we can, just go out and compete and play together. I think that's important.
(St. Louis Blues/Scott Rovak)
Blues coach Craig Berube wants to see goalie Jordan Binnington (pictured)
get his swagger back for the stretch run.

"Sometimes it's about timing too. We're working, I'll tell you that. We want it. It's a matter of just getting the job done just a little more. We've been OK but we need to be great every night and every shift. We need to support each other. Mistakes happen and we've got to try and be there for each other in every situation and just build that confidence through preparation and doing the right things."

It isn't just on Binnington, according to Berube, who ran a hard-nosed practice on Wednesday at Centene Community Ice Center. It's on the entire team to break the funk.

"Not only Binner, but our whole team," Berube said. "You've got to have a swagger, you've got to go out there and play with swagger and bite. It's a big part of the game. It's a will. You've got to will your way through things sometimes and that's where we're at right now. You better will your way through it, and you've got to do it collectively as a team. You've got to make sure you stick together as a team and you've got to will your way through things. We're in a hole right now and we've got to scratch and claw our way out of it. That's the only way you get out of it, scratch and claw and battle and compete. We do it for a certain amount of time, but we stop doing it. We don't consistently do it and like I said, sometimes goals go in. You've got to keep battling and keep working. And we did. We’ve come from behind this year a bunch of times, but we seemed to have lost that will.​"

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