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Does the NHL Need to Send a Message via Jordan Binnington?

St. Louis Blues’ goaltender Jordan Binnington’s tough guy act is getting old. Is it time the NHL sends a message?

St. Louis Blues’ goaltender Jordan Binnington will be facing a disciplinary hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety this week after running at Ryan Hartman of the Minnesota Wild and hitting him in the face with his goalie blocker. It was another instance of Binnington snapping while playing for the Blues and he’s become quite the case study in what not to do when it comes to reacting to every little thing that happens in a hockey game.

Binnington’s antics are getting tiresome. On more than one occasion he’s made front-page news and gone viral on social media for what can be compared to little more than a child throwing a tantrum. He’s sprayed people and thrown water bottles at Nazem Kadri. He’s been told by his own coach to “Just stop the puck” and in this instance, he was well out of his crease when Hartman clipped his pad on the way by to celebrate with his teammates for scoring, Binnington had just let in three unanswered goals to give the Wild the lead. His very short fuse was lit. He snapped… which he does a lot.

It would be one thing if he was any good. This year, he really hasn’t been. The Blues are going to miss the playoffs on the back of a lousy season from the veteran. Binnington has a 3.39 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. His behavior comes across as frustration boiling over because he’s being exposed and it’s not a good look. Meanwhile, the NHL looks silly for letting this kind of stuff continue. As Michael Russo of The Athletic writes, “Binnington melting down. Wow. What a joke this guy continues to be.”

Why Was Fleury So Quick to Want a Fight?

When things went south, Wild netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was asked about his decision to try and fight Binnington. He responded, “That one was pretty quick. One of the guys said (Binnington) hit them in the nuts, in the nutsack. Can I say nutsack? Then when I saw him throw another one at our guy, that was the time.” If that’s true, it makes Binnington look even worse. And, when you consider Binnginton was trash-talking the Wild’s bench players earlier in the game, it was clear the goalie was trying to rile things up while playing a lousy game.

What about the idea that Binnington looked like he was ready to fight? My answer would be, really? Do we know that’s what Binnington wanted to do? Or, was Fleury calling his bluff, and Binnington happy enough to play fake tough guy and let the linesman hold him back?

Is This Something the NHL Needs To Look At?

It’s not likely the hearing with Binnington will address anything beyond Wednesday’s incident, but many are calling for more of punishment to come the netminder’s way. Steve Dangle wrote on Twitter, “Every year or two the Department of Player Safety gives someone a Lifetime Achievement Suspension and I think Binnington’s about to get it.”

Or, is this something the NHL actually wants to up the excitement level in the game? Fans are all over social media expressing their disappointment that the linesmen didn’t let the two goalies finish their fight. If both wanted it and both were ready to go toe-to-toe, why not let them get it out of their system and end that issue right then and there? Clearly, the fans were pumped and the refs were booed for not allowing the natural progression of things.

It’s not clear what message the NHL will try and send, but whatever they decide, there is bound to be backlash either way.

Next: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 2-1 Loss to the Avalanche

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Chris D

    March 16, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    “It would be one thing if he was any good.” No, it would still be childish temper tantrums with the possibility of someone getting hurt.

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  5. Hockeychuck

    March 16, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    Binnington has been hung out to dry all year by our defense. Calling him no good is just uninformed. You want to question his maturity fine but Hartmann wasn’t trying to miss him after that goal. At least he had a little fire in his gut.

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