When Jordan Binnington and the St. Louis Blues won the 2019 Stanley Cup, the world was on their side. A 99-point team that seemingly nobody saw coming was able to battle and capture the most difficult trophy to win in sports. Since then, they’ve been slowly rolling down a hill of mediocrity, and this season full of beef, especially for Binnington, is only furthering that trend.
Out Of The Sky, Into The Dirt
Jordan Binnington has had a worse and worse save percentage in every season since hoisting Lord Stanley. From .927 to .912 to .910, .901, and now, for the first time since only starting one game his rookie season, his save percentage is below .900.
The graph goes one way since winning the cup, and that way is down.
This season he is minus 15 in goals saved above average. That’s 69th on the list of 73 goalies who qualify. It should be said that the team around him obviously isn’t providing him much help, only 20th in the league in goals-for. Ryan O’Riley has not stepped up in the way that he should, and their defense is atrocious.
However, good goalies aren’t 4th worst out of 73 in any category, regardless of their team. The only other notable name near Binnington’s is Johnathan Quick, who is obviously well past his prime.
One thing Johnathan Quick does not do is consistently make a fool out of himself on the ice. Binnington has perfected the art of thinking that he’s getting under a team’s skin without doing anything but making himself look bad. This has been a story for his whole career. Early on it was perceived as firey-ness, lately, it’s just turned sad.
“Can’t have him swinging the stick” Causes Beef
That’s what Blues coach Craig Berube said after Jordan Binnington skated over to Nazem Kadri and swung his goalie stick in his face after a scrum early last season. His beef with Kadri was from the previous year’s playoffs when the Avalanche center was yet again suspended for a high hit on Justin Faulk in game two of round one.
The beef would continue into last year’s playoffs, when Kadri was inadvertently pushed into Binnington, taking him out of the 2nd round series. After the game, Binnington threw a water bottle at Kadri during his post-game interview, exploding the beef. This sparked an online mob of racists and xenophobes attacking Kadri and threatening his life. Kadri would respond with a hat-trick in St. Louis, and the Avalanche would ultimately win the series on their way to a Cup.
And it’s not just Kadri that Binner will go after. From jumping into scrums to trying to fight Devan Dubnyk, Binnington loves to just go off the rails, and it seldom helps his team. Most recently he tried to fight Kurtis MacDermid, something that even the biggest enforcer will think twice about.
The bottom line is this; If he were winning, it would be feisty and ultimately good for the game. Since he and the Blues are nowhere near their former selves, the hotheadedness is just clownery. Binnington should focus on his own game, and stop bringing attention to himself while he’s down in the mud.