Friday, October 29, 2021

Binnington doesn't condone stick-swinging incident with Kadri

However, goalie doesn't regret doing it during loss to Kadri, 
Avalanche; not first time Blues netminder has sparked emotions

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Jordan Binnington woke up less than 24 hours after a stick-swinging incident against the Colorado Avalanche and wanted to clear the air.

The Blues goalie answered "no" when asked if he regrets swinging his stick in the direction of Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri with 30 seconds remaining in the second period of a 4-3 loss on Thursday, but ... 
(St. Louis Blues/Scott Rovak)
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington sparked a feud late in the second period
of a 4-3 loss against the Avalanche with a stick swing at Nazem Kadri.

"I don't condone it," Binnington said Friday. "It doesn't need to happen. I just think getting in the scrum is enough. I didn't need to do the stuff after, but stuff happens out there and you learn and you keep moving forward."

It started when Colorado's Logan O'Connor cross-checked Blues defenseman Jake Walman and a scrum ensued behind the Blues bench after O'Connor and Walman came together hard into the blue paint and knocking the net off its moorings moments before Cale Makar thought he had scored that would have given the Avalanche a 4-1 lead.

But one thing led to another, and Binnington would wire a puck airborne at Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper and get into a war of words and take a jab with his stick towards Kadri, public enemy No. 1 for the Blues who fought defenseman Justin Faulk 47 seconds into the game in response to taking Faulk out of the playoffs last season with his vicious hit to the head.

"Kind of a heat of the moment," said Binnington, who received a 10-minute misconduct on the play along with Kadri. "The scrum started and then kind of carried on and there was a little stuff from the past going on there, but I might have taken it a little too far. I don't want to condone the stick-swinging. Having a guy sit in the box for 10 minutes (Robert Bortuzzo) isn't the play. I definitely don't want kids out there swinging their sticks. It's an emotional situation, emotions were high, it was a competitive game. These are big games and against a big team. We didn't get the win, but we had a good third period and hopefully we can build off that and lead into the next game."

This isn't Binnington's first dust-up with opposing teams, though.

Remember in 2019 during the second round of the playoffs against the Dallas Stars when in Game 4, Binnington took a couple jabs at Stars captain Jamie Benn at the end of the second period, then as he was leaving the ice, took a chop with stick at Stars goalie Ben Bishop?
It was afterwards, before Game 5, that fueled the "Who's Montgomery?" in reference to then-Stars head coach Jim Montgomery, currently a Blues assistant, that said he thought Binnington lost his cool and Binnington responded to a question regarding Montgomery's comments.

Heck, Binnington even sparked a feud with the Stars' American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars, when playing for the San Antonio Rampage earlier that year when he slashed Joel L’Esperance in a game after a goal was scored.

Go back even further to Dec. 26, 2017 when Binnington, with Providence of the AHL, fought -- or wrestled -- his buddy Pheonix Copley of Hersey in a game.

How about the incident Oct. 24, 2019 between Binnington and then-Los Angeles Kings forward and now current teammate Kyle Clifford when Binnington skated over and bumped Clifford before Clifford cross-checked him, prompting Ivan Barbashev and Oskar Sundqvist to jump in and cause a stir?

Clifford in postgame comments called Binnington a "mutant."

Last season in San Jose, there was another incident with Binnington and Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and goalie Devan Dubnyk. It started with Binnington getting pulled from the game and perhaps getting some choice words from the Sharks bench, in which Binnington put his mitt in the face of Radek Simek, and as he was skating off, he faked as if he was going to hit Karlsson in the face with his blocker before taking a swipe with his stick at Dubnyk's stick as Dubnyk was trying to tell Binnington to leave the ice.

It's gotten Binnington a reputation nationally as temperamental. It's his subtle way of trying to fire his teammates up.

"No, I'm not crazy. It's an intense game and it's not part of modern-day hockey," Binnington said. "Maybe back in the olden days, but it is what it is."

Binnington sparked the win against the Sharks when the Blues came back from a four one-goal deficits and come out on top, 7-6. He was hoping for more of the same against the Avs, and it almost worked when the Blues, who were down 3-1 at the time, made it a 3-2 game in the third period before falling.

"We were in the game and I really believe we can win every game we play," Binnington said. "It's a competitive league, it's a long year and every game's important. We had a great third period and made it close, but it wasn't enough."

Blues coach Craig Berube said the issue was addressed with Binnington and curbed.

"It was discussed with him," Berube said. "Like we talked about yesterday, he's an emotional guy and he gets engaged sometimes that way. We can't have him swinging the stick."

Emotions run in different circles with players. It was different back in the old days, when players almost unequivocally settled differences with their fists, except for the occasional stick swings that got players in trouble, but Berube said he won't police players' emotions but expects them to keep them within proper channels. 
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (left) makes a save on Vegas' Jake
Leschyshyn in a 3-1 Blues win Oct. 20.

"We let guys handle it themselves, but you can't be stupid," Berube said. "We all know that. You've got to control your emotions. There's times where it gets really heated and you've got to be in control, and if you're not, there's a chance you can do something you shouldn't do and get suspended. You've got to control your emotions, but on the other side of it, you can't play the game without emotion either."

Binnington may want to be on his best behavior considering he's one of the goalies considered for the Canada's Winter Olympic team. And who is the general manager for that squad? None other than Blues GM Doug Armstrong.

"That would be special. It would be very exciting," Binnington said if chosen. "I think the outlook with that is just do the business here and win games for the St. Louis Blues and with the St. Louis Blues and just take care of myself, be present in the moment and let the rest take care of itself. Whatever happens, happens. Just play hard and do the best you can."

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