Friday, May 28, 2021

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington

ST. LOUIS -- To say Jordan Binnington took the Blues and the NHL by storm two years ago is an understatement.
(St. Louis Blues/Scott Rovak)
Jordan Binnington was 18-14-8 with a 2.65 GAA and .910 save percentage
this season but hasn't won a playoff game since Game 7 in Boston in 2019.

After all, Binnington was an unknown when he arrived on the scene for his first NHL start Jan. 7, 2019 but the ending to that story was, well, historic.

Two years later, it's hard to imagine Binnington is still without a Stanley Cup Playoff victory since that epic night in Boston, Game 7 of the Cup Final June 12, 2019.

But here we are after a four-game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, Binnington is 0-9 with a 4.21 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage in the playoffs since. 

He just finished his second full season as the No. 1 netminder and will enter 2021-22 with a fresh, new contract with financial stability and longevity in tact, but as he enters another off-season, Binnington talked about the season he had (18-14-8 with a 2.65 GAA and .910 save percentage), the challenges the Blues faced this season, the false positive he had to endure before Game 2 against the Avalanche and plenty more:

On the day of Game 2 when Blues had weird positive false tests:
I wasn't that optimistic. I woke up, got the call and I was told it was a potential false positive. With the previous cases, I wasn't so optimistic, but thankfully, it was found we were in the clear mid or early afternoon. So I just tried to prepare like I was playing the whole day and thankfully, it was a false.

How tough was it to have a little bit of pregame and then out on the ice for a game:
It is what it is. At that point, I think other things I approach, it's just whatever comes up, handle it the best way you can. You can't really stress about it, so that was kind of my outlook on it.

Initial feelings after being swept out of the playoffs:
It's tough. Obviously it would have been nice to be a little more competitive in the series. I think we did battle hard and it's kind of a year where, you know, there are some, you can use some excuses, but it's not what we're about and it's not in our character. We were down some guys, but guys stepped in from the taxi squad up and the boys were prepared to jump in and competed. They're a good hockey club for sure. We've got some work to do and it's a good eye-opening experience. I think there was a lot of experience gained this season from young guys to new roles taken on and veteran guys. I think being in the playoffs and getting that feel, even getting kind of the atmosphere back with the fans and realizing getting a bit more of a taste of what the NHL's really like. I think it was good experience to get in there, but like you said, like we said, we obviously want to win every game, but getting swept is more frustrating.

Perron on COVID list the day you were leaving, what was the reaction:
Yeah, he's obviously a huge part of our team in the ice, off the ice, in the locker room, energy. He plays so hard, I think playoffs is where he enjoys it the most really. Obviously a big blow, but it is what it is and got to handle it the best way you can. Guys tried to step up and tried to come together for him and tried to hold on a little longer so he could come back and be with the boys again. It was a frustrating time.

The team's record since the bubble, why haven't the results been the same since:
Teams go through adversity, things change, environments change. I know that every guy's working hard and you want to be successful. I don't think it's anything in particular. I think it's been obviously a strange season and I think all we can do is look at it and focus on the positives, that it's another year of experience, we competed through a lot, guys got stronger and battled through some adversity. You've got to do the best you can. That's kind of how I look at it.

On Colorado's good net front, is something you can do a better job of clearing guys out and allowing you to see pucks:
If you look at the top three teams in our division, they all have a good net front presence and it's kind of they're symmetrical in how they're using their screens or net front presence, defections. I think it's kind of part of the game nowadays. it's not easy to do, but I think it's part of the game and I think it's something we're going to focus on going forward and even me personally with screens, handling them better and just finding a way to find the puck. We're all looking to always improve and keep growing. I think it's part of the game now so that's something that's going to be taken into consideration.

How much did you miss that stability on the blue line:
I think as a team as whole, guys coming in and out, it's tough to kind of play together all the time, but you've got to adapt. It's part of the nature here. Personally, I think if you lose big guys like that, like anyone that looks at it, I think it's a challenge and an opportunity to kind of be there, have an impact on the team's success. It's about stepping up and it's kind of what we enjoy about the nature of the game and competition. It wasn't easy, but i think we worked hard. I feel like I worked hard and did what I could, or tried to at least. You've just got to reflect and respond really.

Can you close the gap quickly between yourselves and the top teams this year:
Yeah, I think we've got a strong core here and some very talented young players. I think it's about becoming more connected, which happens with time and experiences. Yeah, I think we can compete with anyone. We'll see what happens this offseason, but I think we're in a good spot. It's on us to come together and improve and take care of our crafts over the summer and take care of the bodies. Just refresh and be prepared to play on time at the start of the season.

How do you evaluate your play, what you did well, what you need to work on:
I probably won't get into it technically, but looking back, right from the bubble, I wasn't happy with how it went and I kind of just went right back to work head down, just tried to prepare the best way I can and it was a new experience and maintaining the body and your strength throughout the season, the gym, the work here was good with the staff. I think reflecting, it's been a short time so far. I know I put the work in and I can feel good about that. I hope to just continue to bring success into this city, with the team and just come together and do great things, is really what I want.

Are you OK with not being popular to fans in other cities:
I don't mind it. I think I like to play hard and I'm competitive. We're competing out there, there's no friends. If things happen and emotions are high, that's kind of the beauty in the game to me. I don't really care, no.

Thoughts for the off-season, looking forward to a normal season next year:
That'll be exciting and I think it's just continue to grow. That's kind of the outlook for the summer and be prepared for next season, reflect and learn from experiences from this season and and prepare and go to work.

Any type of different off-season now that you have a long-term contract in front of you:
No, it's the same game plan. Just keep getting better and pushing myself, finding my motivations. It's nice to have that stability for sure, or security, but at the same time, things can change quick. It's a very competitive league and you're seeing the young talent around the league nowadays. I just want to do the best I can, be the best kind of player and athlete I can be and just go from there.


  1. Good Stuff Lou, and I always love a good Binnington interview. Like you say, its good to have honest answers.

    1. That's what you hope for, and quite honestly, appreciate from athletes!