There’s no way to spin this, even if I wanted to.  And I don’t want to.

Jordan Binnington, in his present form, has turned into a costly liability. Look, you can search elsewhere on the internet for rationalizations and excuses. None will be offered in this space.

I won’t play that game. The Blues compete in a tough division and the stakes are too high for fooling around and trying to finesse readers with happy-talk nonsense.

And the Blues are paying Binnington an annual average of $6 million on the six-year deal that went into effect this season. The contract doesn’t expire until the end of the 2026-2027 season.


When Binnington starts a game this season and is credited with the decision, the Blues are 11-10-3. When another netminder is the goaltender of record, the Blues are 15-4-2.

The disparity is more extreme since the beginning of November. With Binnington starting as the goaltender of record, the Blues are 5-9-3 – and the team is 14-4-2 when Ville Husso, Charlie Lindgren, Joel Hofer or Jon Gillies played as the goaltender of record.

There’s a big difference in the quality and the consistency in the goaltending, and the gap is impacting the Blues in the standings.


Since Nov. 3, Binnington has a .889 save percentage and has allowed 3.70 goals per game.

And when Binnington hasn’t played during this stretch, the other St. Louis goaltenders have a .935 save percentage with a 2.28 goals-against rate.

Feb 10, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) gives up a goal to New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (not pictured) during the third period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Beginning with the Winter Classic at Minnesota, Binnington has a .862 save percentage and 5.03 goals-against average in his last six games. He continues to drift close to the bottom of the rankings list in NHL goaltender statistics.

The numbers are for the entire season and the rankings include only the 33 goaltenders that have played at least 1,100 minutes this season at all strengths:

Save percentage: .898,   31st among the 33.
Goals-against average:   3.39, 31st.
Goals saved above average:   minus 8.49, 31st.


Soft goals are an alarming issue for Binnington.

He ranks 27th among the 33 with a .888 save percentage on medium-danger shots. And he’s allowed an average of 1.26 goals per game on medium-danger shots (23rd.)

His low-danger save percentage (.956) is tied for 26th. And Binnington has allowed an average of 0.56 low-danger goals per game, which ranks 28th among the 33.

As I wrote earlier this week, the Blues have a very good team but there are underlying concerns with their shot volume and shot quality – both for and against. And excellent goaltending provided by Husso (and Lindgren) have sealed the cracks.

Among 46 goalies that have played at least 850 minutes this season, Husso ranks first with a .941 save percentage (all strengths) and has the best stop rate (.895) vs. high-danger shots. He doesn’t let in many softies, ranking third-best in stopping low-danger attempts and fifth-best in medium-danger save rate.

Those cracks are exposed when Binnington plays.

In Thursday’s dreadful 7-4 loss to New Jersey at home, three of the five goals against Binnington were scored from either medium-danger range or low-danger areas.

Since New Year’s Day, Binnington has the league’s worst save percentage (minimum 333 minutes) at .862 and is also dead last in both medium-danger and high-danger save percentage.

Of the 28 goals allowed by Binnington over this time, 42.8 percent have come on medium-danger shots, and 25% were fired from low-danger areas. That’s flat-out awful. Realistically, you can’t get any worse than that.

“He’s just got to stay working,” coach Craig Berube said after the embarrassing loss to the Devils. “There’s no magic. It’s all about work ethic and keep working. Go in there and play a game and get a win, and that builds your confidence.”

If this is just a Binnington slump, it’s a very bad one.

If it’s more than just a slump, the Blues have a big and bad problem.

Husso can’t play every game. But Binnington can’t pull himself together – if that’s still possible – unless he plays a decent amount of time over the Blues’ 37 remaining contests.

Clearly the Blues are a more confident bunch when playing in front of Husso; teammates know he’ll give them an outstanding chance to win. With Binnington, not so much.

Husso has a quality-start percentage of .714 this season compared to Binnington’s horrendous quality-start percentage of .333.

Binnington’s mates said all the right things after his third-period crash Thursday.

“That’s on us in front of him to tighten up,” Brayden Schenn said of Binnington. “We’re just giving up too many chances … We know we can be better in front of him and we’re not worried about ‘Binner’. ‘Binner’s our guy. He’s our No. 1 and we’re not worried about ‘Binner’. He’ll find his game and he’ll be huge for us down the stretch.”

Binner isn’t the No. 1 goaltender for the Blues. At best he’s No. 3, behind Husso and Lindhgren. But Lindgren is in the AHL, and Binnington and Lindgren won’t be trading places. So remove those thoughts from your heads. I will do the same.

This headache must be tended to by Berube and GM Doug Armstrong. Can you imagine the reaction if Husso maintains his splendid performance for the remainder of the season, only to walk away as a free agent, with the Blues reaffirming their faith in Binnington as their top goaltender going forward? Does this scenario change if Binnington continues to bomb? He obviously has plenty of time to straighten himself out, but the increasing anxiety won’t ease unless Binnington rediscovers his form and replenishes his confidence. Good luck.

Binnington, who hadn’t played since Jan. 24, had plenty of time to clear his mind, clean up his mechanics, and reset before returning against New Jersey. I expected him to play well, but he flopped again, and his teammates weren’t exactly a well-greased machine. That’s two straight terrible losses for the Blues. And they’ve lost three of their last four, getting outscored 19-11.

The Blues have entered an important stretch, getting a chance to bank points against some of the NHL’s worst teams. The Note threw away two points Thursday with the clunker against New Jersey, which came in at 16-26-5. In nine of their next 11 games the Blues will take on opponents that had a combined 104-167-45 record as of Friday morning.

Binnington surely will play a few of the next 11 games, and he can’t be turning victories into defeats. Get your act together, JB. It isn’t 2019 anymore.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated sports-talk show on 590-AM The Fan, KFNS. It airs Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the “Bernie Show” podcast at — the 590 app works great and is available in your preferred app store.

Follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz

Stats used in this column are from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.