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Category: St-Louis-Blues

The Goaltending Battle In St. Louis

from Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic,

Former Blues goalie Jamie McLennan was in St. Louis last week for the retirement of Chris Pronger’s No. 44 jersey. Before leaving town, he was well aware of the debate about who should be starting games: Jordan Binnington or Ville Husso.

“I came in on (Jan. 16), which was the day after Binnington gave up the game-winner against Toronto,” McLennan said. “I know there’s been some inconsistencies with Jordan’s game, so I know there is a pressure point based on Husso’s play. I know it’s a hot-button topic.”

It will get even hotter after the Blues gave Husso a third consecutive start on Sunday in Vancouver, where he won his fifth straight game.

The 26-year-old Finnish netminder followed up his 27-save, 5-0 shutout over Seattle on Friday with 38 saves in a 3-1 win over Vancouver. It was nearly another shutout, as the Canucks’ lone goal came just four seconds after a full two-minute, two-man advantage expired.

Either way, in Husso’s last five games, he’s 5-0 with a 1.20 goals-against average and a .963 save percentage, stopping 154 of 160 shots.

Binnington is expected to get the nod on Monday, as the Blues play the second night of a back-to-back set in Calgary. But Husso’s recent run has led to some legitimate questions: Can Binnington find some consistency in his game again, and if not, will the club regret his long-term contract extension? Will Husso, an unrestricted free agent next summer, be re-signed, and if not, is there a chance he could be traded?

continued (paid)

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Video- #44 To The Rafters In St. Louis

via the St. Louis Blues,

Chris Pronger's No. 44 became the eighth number retired to the rafters at Enterprise Center.

added 9:53pm, Below, Pronger salutes the fans.

 

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Targeting A Top Four Defenseman For The St. Louis Blues

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

On Thursday, a possible upgrade will be in St. Louis, while wearing the other team’s sweater (and the other team’s “C”). Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano is on the last year of his contract, and the former Flame surely has one in his belly to win a Cup. He does make a bunch of money ($6.75 million), and the Blues would have to get crazy-creative with salary-cap space, likely moving Marco Scandella and, say, Klim Kostin and even more to make it work....

The trade deadline (March 21) is more than two months away. A lot could happen before then. One thing that’ll likely happen? Colorado asserts itself as a top-three team in the division. The Avs team that started 4-5-1 was a mirage. And Nashville (St. Louis’ opponent on Monday) has lost only three games since November ended. The Blues are good enough to make the playoffs. But are they good enough to make a playoff run? You could make an argument for that right now — but an added defenseman makes making that argument quite easier.

Another name that’s naturally floating around the cyberspace is Jakob Chychrun, because the Coyotes are rebuilding and he’s too good for a rebuilding team. Like Giordano, Chychrun is a lefty, which would pair with Parayko. Chychrun ($4.6 million) makes less per year than Giordano does, but Chychrun has three more years on his contract. Coyotes boss Bill Armstrong previously worked for Blues boss Doug Armstrong, so Bill knows the trade pieces and his potential trading partner.

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Videos- The St. Louis Blues Score 2 Goals In The Last 47 Seconds To Win In Regulation

Here's the action late in the game and below Dallas coach Rick Bowness reacts.

 

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Two Tough Games For The Blues This Week

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Who are the Blues?

The team that stormed to a 5-0-0 start?

The team that played average hockey for a long stretch?

The team that lost a bunch of key players yet found ways to unlock wins?

Many seasons, by the holiday season, we can confidently identify a team’s makeup — but this season?

It’s hard to say who the Blues are now, let alone who they’ll be come playoff time.

So we have to hunt for hints.

“We’ve had an evolving roster,” defenseman Justin Faulk said Monday as the Blues prepared for two huge games — star-studded Edmonton in town Wednesday, which is the Blues’ first game in 10 days, and then Saturday’s Winter Classic at Minnesota.

conitnued

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The St. Louis Blues Grind Out A Win Over The Florida Panthers

from Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic,

Well, your club began the game with 19 players — one fewer than a regular NHL lineup — due to salary-cap restrictions. You were facing the Florida Panthers, one of the top teams in the league standings. That team outshot you 20-5 in the first period, but your rock-solid starting goaltender kept you in the game. That goalie left because of an injury in the third period and was replaced by a journeyman netminder who hadn’t played in the NHL since March 2020. You lost a defenseman, too, and finished the game with just 17 players. But somehow you won the drama-filled game, 4-3, in overtime.

That game.

“Well, you know guys battled, and I’m proud of them,” said Berube, finally relenting a bit. “They worked and came through.”

By nature, NHL coaches are somewhat stoic, and Berube typically fits that description. But this did not look like someone who had witnessed what 16,372 at Enterprise Center had just watched — one of the grittiest performances turned in by the Blues in many years.

No, this looked and sounded like someone whose team entered the night without seven players, either injured or on the COVID-19 protocol list, and learned that he could be without one or two more.

After the Blues lost Robert Thomas to what sources have told The Athletic is a hip injury, Berube announced that goalie Ville Husso left with a lower-body injury and defenseman Jake Walman with an upper-body injury.

The injury to Husso appeared serious, and if he’s headed to the injury list, the Blues would be without starter Jordan Binnington (COVID-19) and his backup when they face Detroit on Thursday.

more (paid)

Catch the game highlights below.

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Troy Brouwer Announces His Retirement

from Chris Pinkert of the Blues website,

"I'm going to miss the relationships that I was able to make over the years with guys on my teams and their families," Brouwer said. "Playing this game, you always get to meet new people, you always get to have experiences with those people and a lot of those you'll carry with you for the rest of your life. I'm going to miss that competitiveness, and I'm going to miss those big moments where you have an opportunity to do something amazing after you've worked your whole life to get to that moment."

It all started for the Vancouver, BC native back in 2004. Brouwer wasn't projected to be a high draft pick, so he wasn't even in attendance for the 2004 NHL Draft in Carolina when his name was called by the Blackhawks in the seventh round (No. 214 overall).

"The one thing I remember was my dad running into by bedroom, still in his underwear in the morning, and he said 'You just got drafted by Chicago," Brouwer recalled. "I jumped out of bed and waited by the phone because I knew my agent was going to call. It was one of the best wake-up calls I've ever had."

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Jordan Binnington On His Stick Swinging Incident

from Sportsnet,

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington doesn't regret swinging his stick at Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri during a scrum in NHL action between bitter rivals on Thursday.

"No," he said when asked by a reporter Friday if he regretted the incident. "I don't condone it. It doesn't need to happen. Getting in the scrum was enough, I didn't need to do the stuff after. But stuff happens out there and you learn, and you keep moving forward."

Binnington received a rare 10-minute misconduct along with Kadri on the play, but the penalty was served by forward Robert Bortuzzo....

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

"(The stick-swinging was) kind of the heat of the moment. ... I might have taken it a bit too far. I don't want to condone the stick-swinging. Having a guy sit in the box for 10 minutes isn't being a good teammate. I definitely don't want kids out there swinging their sticks. It's an emotional situation, emotions were high and it was a competitive game, and these are big games against a big team."

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Video- Jordan Binnington Is A Bit Upset

via Sportsnet's YouYube page,

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington loses his cool after the whistle, swing stick in direction of Nazem Kadri's head and shoots puck at Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper.

Misconduct for Binnington.

 

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Video- Pavel Buchnevich Suspended Two Games

Head-butting

 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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