BOSTON – The resolve Jordan Binnington is showing in the playoffs was forged in Bruins black and gold. Now it's being used to try to beat the organization that took him in.
Binnington bounced back from a rough start to the Stanley Cup Final to make 21 saves in the St. Louis Blues' Game 2 overtime victory Wednesday that tied the best-of-7 series against Boston at 1-all.
The 25-year-old rookie goaltender, who played in the ECHL with the Kalamazoo Wings in 2013-14, improved to 6-2 in the playoffs after a loss. He was 6-0 in such situations during the regular season.
“Life of a goaltender,” Binnington said. “Just keep moving forward and regroup, just try to be there and give your team a chance to win. I keep that mindset.”
Binnington's life as a goaltender hasn't been easy and it included a notable stop in Providence with the Bruins' American Hockey League affiliate in 2017-18. The NHL's expansion to Vegas and changing geography in the minor leagues forced St. Louis to share an AHL team and it chose Ville Husso over Binnington for a spot in San Antonio.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong asked other teams if anyone wanted an experienced goaltender in the minors and Boston was the taker. Binnington played only 28 games to Bruins prospect Zane McIntyre's 47.
“I certainly understood that the Boston organization was developing their players, not ours,” said Armstrong, who expressed concern the Blues “failed” Binnington by farming him out to Providence. “So his numbers indicated that he maybe could've got more games in the net, he didn't get those. It was difficult for him.”
Binnington looks back fondly on his brief time in the Bruins' organization.
“They were nothing but good to me ... I'm very fortunate they took me in,” Binnington said. “I was fortunate to develop and grow there.”
The Blues head home with momentum for Game 3, but forward Oskar Sundqvist faces a potential suspension for delivering an elbow to the head of defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
Boston vs. St. Louis
Tied at 1
Game 1: Boston wins 4-2
Game 2: St. Louis wins 3-2 (OT)
Game 3: Saturday, at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Game 4: Monday, at at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Game 5: Thursday, at Boston, 8 p.m
Game 6: June 9, at St. Louis, 8 p.m.*
Game 7: June 12, at Boston, 8 p.m.*