Coach’s Corner: Blues’ Binnington should be rookie of the year

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean take a look at the best stories around the NHL, including Jordan Binnington, speeding the game up, and the opening round of playoffs.

From the moment he made his first NHL start on Jan. 7, there’s been no hotter goaltender than Jordan Binnington.

The 25-year-old is the reason for the St. Louis Blues‘ incredible turnaround this season, rising from last place in the entire league to dangerous Stanley Cup contender in just a few months.

Don Cherry thinks he’s the most impressive rookie to hit the ice in 2018-19.

“This guy is unbelievable,” Cherry said on Coach’s Corner Thursday night. “This guy is rookie of the year. He’d better be rookie of the year.”

While Binnington’s numbers are otherworldly — 1.89 goals against average, .927 save percentage, five shutouts and just five regulation losses — the one stat working against him is his number of games played. He’s started just 30 games this year, which simply isn’t enough to land him the Calder. Not to mention, Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Elias Petterson (28 goals and 66 points in 71 games) has basically had the hardware wrapped up since his NHL debut.

“I don’t care, he should be rookie of the year, he didn’t play enough,” Cherry said of Binnington.

Just one game into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it looks like the netminder isn’t cooling off any time soon. He made 24 saves against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 1 Wednesday night, letting in just a single marker and robbing Mark Scheifele in the dying seconds of the game to keep it that way.

“Winnipeg played a good game,” said Cherry. “What are you going to do when you run into a hot goalie? Fleury last year, and this guy this year.”

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