It goes without saying that the St. Louis Blues have struggled this season. More than anyone expected.
During certain points of the St. Louis Blues’ 2022-23 season thus far, it’s become more apparent than ever that starting goaltender Jordan Binnington’s behavior is getting worse. On top of that, his workload has been unprecedented: Binnington is on pace to start 61 games this season, which would be a career high for him. And his overall play has been mixed: he’s 16-14-3 in 33 games this season with a mere .891 save percentage.
His .891 save percentage would be a career-low if the season ended today.
And despite all of that, he is not the only reason the Blues are in the predicament they are in at the moment.
For example, in a make-or-break seven-game homestand, the Blues fell flat against the Tampa Bay Lightning, losing 4-2. They’re operating with Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko on IR, on top of injuries to Torey Krug, Logan Brown, and Marco Scandella. That definitely doesn’t help their case to be extra competitive this season.
As stated earlier, the Blues are in a midst of a crucial homestand, and yet have failed to match the initial energy heading into it.
“Home games are always huge, and being good at your own building,” Brandon Saad said. “It feels like we’ve been on the road all year, so it’s nice to get some time at home, and obviously we have to capitalize on it.”
For the Blues, if they don’t capitalize soon, the season will be over. They’re barely clinging onto a playoff spot, and at some point, sneaking in the playoffs shouldn’t “be enough”. The Cinderella story from 2018-19 can only keep fans (and ownership) happy and satisfied for so long. This Blues team hasn’t looked the same since their playoff exit against Colorado last season.
It also didn’t help losing David Perron. The heart and soul of the team went to the Detroit Red Wings this off-season, and with him left a lot of energy from the locker room. Too many times this season the team has come out of the gate with little-to-no fight in them. And that’s not all on Binnington, as much as many would like to solely blame him for the team’s struggles.
The clock is ticking on the season. And the Blues have to wake up.