Jordan Binnington is the name. The St. Louis Blues’ rookie goaltender was the centerpiece of Western Conference finals Game 4 last night. The Blues have defeated the San Jose Sharks with 2-1, and tied the entire series to 2 wins each.
If it weren’t for the 25-year old rookie, things would have been much different. Not only this Friday night but the whole season.
“He’s been dynamite back there for us all year,” said Colton Parayko about Binnington.
Binnington stopped 29 shots against the Sharks, and was the force which denied all the guests’ efforts to come back in the game. The home team generated a 2-0 lead after the first period, and the Sharks were desperate to change that.
Peter DeBoer’s guys became very aggressive in the second sequence, managing to pressure the Blues and to be dominant side on the ice. But Binnington stopped all of their 11 shots and rebuffed that push.
“We know he’s going to make the right play, make the big saves and also handle the puck really well and help us break out,” Tyler Bozak told the journalists about his teammate.
Bozak was one of the scorers for the home team, who showed two faces last night. Blues were very good in the first 20 minutes. They ambushed the Sharks and got the lead after just 35 seconds of the play.
Ivan Barbashev scored his first playoff goal, having a little bit of luck while doing that. One of his teammates forced Brent Burns to make a mistake after which Barbashev took the puck and shot it towards Martin Jones. It deflected off Gustav Nyquist, changed the path, and deceived the Sharks’ goalie.
It was a huge shock for the guests who did manage to recover afterward, but another one happened until the end of the period.
With 2:07 left if the first, Tyler Bozak scored the second goal for the hosts, after chaos in front of Jones’ net in which Blues’ center somehow got his stick on the puck and sent it behind the goal line. It was a powerplay goal, second for Berube’s team in this series.
But then, the home team just lost the pace and stopped, allowing San Jose to take control of the ice.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 18, 2019
Luckily for them, Binnington kept his composure and continued to perform at the same level. He became the only goalie of the franchise from Missouri to reach ten postseason wins. Before him, Roman Turek and Brian Elliott had nine.
Not only that, he became the 10th rookie goalie in the NHL history to have at least 10 wins during the first playoffs appearance. The 88th pick from the 2011 draft said that it is an honor for him to achieve all those things, and that he wants to credit his teammates in front of him for helping him.
“Obviously, I’m having a lot of fun back here playing with this team. They’re doing a great job.”
Blues bounced back after a nasty overtime defeat in Game 3. As you all recall the winning goal scored by Erik Karlsson came after an illegal move committed by Timo Meier, who passed the puck to a teammate with his hand.
According to the goaltender, Craig Berube was the reason for such a quick recovery. St. Louis’s coach had a talk with his team, in which he explained to them that they have to move on and look at the future.
“Obviously he’s a great leader for us and he knows what to say,” Binnington said of his coach. “I think the team did a good job responding tonight.”
Game 5 is this Sunday in California, at the Shark Tank. Apart from Binnington other guys have to step up and play well, in order for the Blues to win.
The start of the clash is at 6 p.m. local time.