“I’m going to think about it still, so I have not made that decision yet,” coach Craig Berube said.
Jake Allen took the crease from Jordan Binnington in Game 3 against Vancouver and won two straight games to even their quarterfinal series 2-2. Allen gave up four goals on 30 shots in the Blues’ Game 5 loss on Wednesday night.
Allen has a .939 save percentage, stopping 124 of 132 shots in four games. In Binnington’s four games, which spanned the opening round-robin tournament and the first two games against Vancouver, he had an .862 save percentage and stopped 106 of 123 shots. Binnington’s minus-7.88 goals saved above average is the worst for any goalie in the 24-team postseason tournament.
But Binnington was the primary starter in the regular season and was the backbone of the Blues’ Stanley Cup championship last postseason. He won all three games last season in which the team could have been eliminated, with a save percentage of .965.
Berube said that playoff history is a factor in his decision. “You’ve got to look at what your goalie did in the past at certain times, and what he’s done this year at certain times,” he said. “Listen, we have faith in both of our goalies. I think that Jake Allen came in and did a real good job for us, and to me, Binner at the start of the playoffs here in the round-robin was excellent. But I’m not going to make a decision yet on it. I’m going to think about it a little bit today.”
If he does get the call again, Berube said Binnington is ready.
“He’s been fine. Every player wants to play all the time. They’re competitive people,” he said. “He’s worked hard in practice, and he’s stayed ready. That’s what we talked to him about: You’ve got to stay ready; things change. He stayed ready, worked hard in practice and cheered his teammates on.”
The Blues and Canucks face off in Game 6 at 9:45 p.m. ET on Friday.