St. Louis Blues adds emergency goalkeeper as Jordan Binnington enters COVID-19 protocol – Community News
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St. Louis Blues adds emergency goalkeeper as Jordan Binnington enters COVID-19 protocol

St. Louis Blues goalkeeper Jordan Binnington entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Thursday, leaving the team in a difficult situation due to salary restrictions.

General manager Doug Armstrong said Binnington tested positive for the coronavirus. It was not clear whether Binnington had any symptoms.

“You don’t like to hear that news,” coach Craig Berube said during a video call. “Let’s just move on, guys. That’s all we can do… It’s just another roadblock. We just have to get through it.’

Binnington joins striker Tyler Bozak as Blues players in the competition’s virus protocol. They are also without injured forwards David Perron, James Neal and Klim Kostin.

St. Louis plans to recall Friday goalkeeper Charlie Lindgren, but was unable to do so in time for Thursday’s game at the Tampa Bay Lightning. League rules state that because the Blues do not have the cap space to add another player to the roster, they must pass an emergency backup match.

Ville Husso would start against the Lightning, with mask painter Kyle Konin backing him. Konin, 23, most recently played club hockey at Grand Valley State University.

“He had a morning skate with his beer competition guys today and he said he was on fire and ready to go, so we’re excited to have him here,” Armstrong said. “Knock on wood that he remains a 60-minute cheerleader.”

Binnington, 28, who held the Blues back to their first Stanley Cup title in 2019, stands at 8-5-3 with a 2.80 average against and a save rate of 0.912 in 16 starts this season. He is a leading candidate to become one of Canada’s goalkeepers at the upcoming Beijing Olympics, assuming the NHL doesn’t pull out.

Husso is expected to get the lion’s share of tasks in the net while Binnington is out. Finn, 26, is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA and a serve percentage of 0.936 in limited action this season.

Berube saw a change in Husso’s approach last season and thinks he is ready for the opportunity.

“I think he’s in a better place,” Berube said. “Obviously it’s new for him to deal with the burden, but I’m going off his game so far this year and he’s played extremely well.”

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