(Note: this column has been updated to include the Blues’ win over the Kings on Wednesday at Enterprise Center. The stats have been updated as well.)

The Blues have received championship-caliber goaltending this season. Jordan Binnington and Joel Hofer have done their part to elevate the team’s opportunity for success, but the other Blues have let them down.

The goaltending excellence has been on display this week. The Blues won their second in a row on Wednesday at Enterprise Center, with Binnington stopping 40 of 41 shots in a 3-1 victory over the LA Kings. This was two nights after Hofer gave up one goal in 27 shots in a 5-1 win at Boston.

In the two-game upturn, Binnington and Hofer combined for a .974 save percentage despite the Blues being outshot 78-52 overall and 38-17 in high-danger chances. The goaltenders stopped 96 percent of the high-danger snipes against them to deny the Bruins and Kings.


When your team can emerge from a demoralizing funk and pocket two straight wins when the opponents control 69 percent of the high-danger shot attempts, then you have something special going on.

Binnington and Hofer are keeping the Blues in the hunt for a Western Conference wild-card spot. They’re only six points out. That said, the odds are against them, with Evolving Hockey giving St. Louis a 3.5 percent shot of qualifying after Wednesday’s success.

Here are some details of the Blues’ wonderful goaltending this season:

I’ll list the St. Louis save percentage and corresponding ranking among the 32 NHL teams. The stats include the latest win.

At 5-on-5 … .920, eighth.

All strengths … .907, seventh.

High-danger save % at 5-on-5 … .831, eighth.

High-danger save % at all strengths … .821, sixth.

These numbers are especially impressive considering the disparity in shot volume and quality. At all strengths the Blues have had only 43.6 percent of the high-danger shots in their games. That ranks 29th. The rate is even worse (41.7%) at 5-on-5; that ranks 31st. Opponents should be doing a lot more damage to the Blues, but Binnington and Hofer won’t allow it.

The Blues’ current .921 save rate at 5-on-5 is the same as their .921 mark in the Stanley Cup winning campaign of 2018-2019.

Since the start of the 2018-19 season and through 2022-23, a total of 54 teams had a .920  save metric or better – and 47 qualified for the playoffs. That’s 87 percent. More proof that the outstanding work being turned in by Binnington and Hofer. Based on recent precedent, the Blues should be a playoff team because of them.

According to Evolving Hockey’s metric – goals saved above the replacement level – the Blues are sixth best in the league with a GAR of 32.1. The problem? The Blues are near the bottom of the league (28th) in the corresponding metric that assesses the value of a team’s skaters.

By the way, the Blues’ No. 6 league ranking in goals saved above replacement would be the best by the franchise in a season since 2015-2016.

According to Evolving Hockey, the Blues should have an expected goals allowed rate of 3.55 per 60 minutes at all strengths. But because of the stellar goaltending, the Blues have actually given up just 3.02 goals per 60.

Binnington ranks sixth among 43 NHL goaltenders (minimum 1,000 minutes) in goals saved above average at 13.75. Hofer is on the plus side as well (5.86.) And Hofer’s rate is much lower because he hasn’t played as often as Binnington.

— Per Evolving Hockey, Binnington has saved 13.23 goals above average at all strengths. This is his best season since his remarkable emergence as a Stanley Cup champion rookie in 2018-2019. Not even close. After some turbulent seasons following his 2018-2019 rise to instant stardim, Binnington is at that level again this season.

— I’ve used the quality-start metric for years. It gives us a snap-shot look at a goaltender’s consistency. This season Binnington has a QS percentage of 60%, and Hofer isn’t that far behind at 57.1% in quality-start rate. The point? While Binnington is clearly the team’s No. 1 goaltender — and team MVP — there isn’t much of a drop off when Hofer starts instead of Binnington. That’s a big change from last season.

I know I’ve thrown a lot of numbers at you. And the fancy-stat metrics aren’t for everybody. But in a season otherwise filled with frustration, I think it’s important to give praise and spotlight the goaltenders with positive attention. The Blues couldn’t ask for more from Binnington and Hofer. They’re doing all they can to save this team’s season.

Thanks for reading …


A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie hosts an opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. Stream it live or grab the show podcast on 590thefan.com or through the 590 The Fan St. Louis app.

Please follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz and on Threads @miklaszb

All stats used in this column were sourced from Evolving Hockey, Hockey Reference and Natural Stat Trick.