Like yours truly after a bad breakup, Jordan Binnington just can’t seem to move on.
Despite the fact the Calder Memorial Trophy was awarded to Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2019 NHL Awards way back in June, the St. Louis Blues goaltender hasn’t let go of the fact he wasn’t named the league’s top rookie last season.
“There’s a little bit of that bad taste in my mouth about the outcome last year,” Binnington said following St. Louis’ 2-1 overtime victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But he’s a talented player, so it’s good going up against some of the best.”
When asked if he thought he deserved the award, Binnington made his thoughts on the topic very clear before switching gears a bit.
“Yeah,” the 26-year-old said. “They’ve got a good young team and some elite talent. He’s one of those guys, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Once you take the fact that Pettersson took home the trophy over four months ago out of the equation (seriously dude, you’re living in the past), the argument for Binnington winning rookie of the year can be made. After getting his hands on the starting job in St. Louis back in January, he went 24-5-1 in 32 games with a 1.89 GAA and .927 SV% to help the Blues rise from last in the NHL to a berth in the postseason.
From there, we all know what he did to help St. Louis hoist the Stanley Cup. However, the Calder Trophy is strictly based off of regular season performance and Pettersson’s impressive campaign simply couldn’t be rivalled.
Pettersson — more than five years Binnington’s junior — scored 28 goals and collected 66 points in 71 games on a Canucks team that finished nine points out of the playoffs.
Voters agreed that there really was no contest between the two as the case for Binnington was hurt by the fact he played in a small number of regular season games. Of the 171 ballots cast for the Calder, 151 included a first-place vote for Pettersson while the other 20 had him in second. Those numbers helped him collect a whopping 96.49% of the total vote points. Binnington, meanwhile, finished second in voting with 18 first-place and 105 second-place nods.
It’s interesting to note that these comments didn’t come out of the goaltender’s mouth following this season’s first meeting between the Blues and Canucks, a 4-3 shootout victory for Vancouver on Oct.17.
I guess collecting a win and stopping 33 of 34 shots in a contest that didn’t see Pettersson land on the scoresheet gave a certain someone a bit of post-game confidence.
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