Binnington’s playoff disappointment
Jordan Binnington didn’t like the way their season ended. The St. Louis Blues were ousted from the playoffs earlier than expected when they aimed to defend their title. The goalie claims that there’s not much to change in the game to get back to their championship form last year.
Binnington did admit that he failed to live up to expectations when it mattered the most. The Vancouver Canucks made short work of them last season and clearly proved that they are yet to get back up from that fall. It was the same slump in the season that saw them lose in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
At first, one would say that they did overcome the challenges last season to make things a little bit interesting. After all, it is not about having the best form all season long, but it is more of having it when it matters most. For Binnington, it was just not the right time for them as he knew that the team’s pace and form were good enough.
‘For me personally, I know how good I am and how good I can be, and I expect better of myself’, Binnington said of his game in the postseason after losing to the Canucks. ‘Sometimes it's not going to go your way and you've got to get back on the horse and keep working and find your way’.
The defending champions took only six games to be eliminated. In the final game, Binnington allowed 18 shots before being pulled in the second period. That 6-2 loss surely brought a lot of impact and momentum for the Canucks since then.
The big turnaround
Former goalie Jake Allen replaced Binnington and started Games 3, 4 and 5. That was the time when Binnington allowed nine goals on 47 shots in the first two games, and the team was doomed for the rest of the series. The goalie finished with a 0-5-0 record in the postseason, and that comes along with an NHL-worst 4.72 GAA average.
Binnington believes that he has been on a journey to prove his worth after a lot of struggles in the previous season.
‘I've struggled before. It took me a long time to get to where I'm at’, said Binnington. ‘To stay at the top, it's tough. You've got to stay on top of yourself. For me, everything I do is a learning experience. You go through it, reflect and understand what makes you feel good and what didn't work out for you. You live and learn and you grow. That's kind of my outlook’.
His season numbers as a rookie in 2019 were better. He finished with 2.46 GAA and .914 save percentage. Binnington believes that there is a lot of work to do. After all, the Return to Play plan changed his approach in the game and the pandemic definitely halted their pace in the season.
Despite that end, there were a lot of good things to take away from his season. He is still at the same level when he won the Stanley Cup last year, and that just means that he still actively continues to develop as a strong and young talent.
‘I think if you look at the big picture, it's a pretty good season’, Binnington said. ‘I gained a lot more experience, got some good ice, and we won a lot of hockey games. For me, it's focus on the positives and learn from your experiences’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores