Blues’ Binnington doesn’t regret swinging stick at Kadri, but says ‘I’m not crazy’

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington doesn’t regret swinging his stick at Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri during a scrum in NHL action between bitter rivals on Thursday.

“No,” he said when asked by a reporter Friday if he regretted the incident. “I don’t condone it. It doesn’t need to happen. Getting in the scrum was enough, I didn’t need to do the stuff after. But stuff happens out there and you learn, and you keep moving forward.”

Binnington received a rare 10-minute misconduct along with Kadri on the play, but the penalty was served by forward Robert Bortuzzo.

With 29.2 seconds left in the second period, Blues defenceman Jake Walman and Avs forward Logan O’Connor got into a scrum in front of the St. Louis net after Cale Makar appeared to score – but the net was off its moorings, so it was ruled no goal.

As Walman went after O’Connor along the boards, Binnington got involved in the scrum along with other Blues players. The melee intensified to the point where Binnington and Kadri were assessed misconducts after the Blues goaltender shot the puck at Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper and swung his stick at Kadri.

Binnington, who in 2019 helped lead the Blues to their first Stanley Cup, plays with an edge. In the game against the rival Avalanche, tempers flared but Binnington said it’s not tough for him to keep his emotion in check during the heat of the moment.

“No, I’m not crazy,” he said. “It’s a tense game and it’s not part of the modern-day hockey. Maybe back in the olden days, but it is what it is.

“(The stick-swinging was) kind of the heat of the moment. … I might have taken it a bit too far. I don’t want to condone the stick-swinging. Having a guy sit in the box for 10 minutes isn’t being a good teammate. I definitely don’t want kids out there swinging their sticks. It’s an emotional situation, emotions were high and it was a competitive game, and these are big games against a big team.”

Binnington, 28, became the first Blues goalie since Rick Wamsley in 1987 to receive a 10-minute misconduct.

Binnington said he hasn’t heard from the league about possible disciplinary action. But he has heard from Blues coach Craig Berube.

“He’s an emotional guy and he gets engaged sometimes that way, and we can’t have him swinging his stick,” said Berube.

“We let guys handle (emotions) themselves but you can’t be stupid, we all know that. There’s times when it gets heated, you’ve got to be in control, and if you’re not, there’s a chance you could do something you shouldn’t do, and get suspended. You’ve got to control your emotions. But on the other side of it, you can’t play the game without emotion either.”

Binnington, a native of Richmond Hill, Ont., is 4-1 with a .916 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average this season. His performance in previous seasons has earned him consideration for a roster spot on the Canadian national team, which is heading to Beijing for the Winter Olympics.

To be named to the Canadian Olympic team, Binnington said, “would be special.”