Losing your starting goalkeeper in the middle of a play-off series is never good, especially when faced with a powerful attack like the Colorado Avalanche. But the exact details of how the St. Louis Blues lost to Jordan Binnington — a controversial-if-you-really-e-to-to-be clash with the known opposition Nazem Qadri, followed by some postgame beef . Growth: Blues has something to offer a silver lining. Game of revenge! A chance to win for Jordan!
The Blues had all the necessary elements: the domestic crowd, the 2-1 series deficit against the wall, and the feeling of outrage that Qadri had not received any punishment for the role he played. Binnington’s injury. Emotions, especially strong ones like anger, can change the course of a game or series if applied properly. The Blues must have imagined coming into their own Game 4 and using their newfound animosity to intimidate Qadri as much as possible, would provoke the crowd and add to the physicality of the game. One thing they certainly didn’t even imagine was allowing Qadri to score three goals and let him off the field without a scratch.
As soon as the game started, the attitude of revenge faded. Braden Shane tries to block Qadri in a fight in the opening minutes of the game and fails, and then the Blues are completely outscored and outscored by Avalanche in the first half. Although the Blues were 1-0 up at the end of that period, the fact that they managed just one shot on goal in the last 15 minutes of the period was a foretaste of what was to come.
In less than three minutes per second, former Blue Eric Johnson tied it up with a long-range shot that seemed to pilot itself into the net. About a minute later, the Blues were confronted with a nightmare: Qadri escaped from the right wing and shot Vile Huso, a former goalkeeper.
When Devon Toyes scored 20 seconds later, Blues head coach Craig Berube called it a much-needed timeout. I can’t say for sure what Berube said to his players during the stoppage, but I imagine he didn’t say something like, “Okay guys, let’s try to mug Qadri and in most cases fail and settle this thing with a 5 gift of AVS.” -On-3 when we’re in it. “Well anyway, that blues went there and what.
David Perron and Pavel Buknevich both went to the box to do what Qadri was trying to do, and their teammates were left to handle an impossibly difficult situation. They did most of it, but you can guess who scored the right goal at the end of 5-on-3:
The Blues briefly made things interesting by scoring their own two power-play goals in the second period, but the Avs won the third period 6-3, much like the first, Colorado created a steady stream of shots while holding St. Louis to their edge. The Avalanche beat the Blues 37-20 for the game and the last meaningful goal of the night came from You-Know-Who:
Could it be worse for the Blues? If they had just allowed Qadri to skate peacefully along the high road, the anemia would have been fairly undesirable, but it would not have been as humiliating as what actually happened. One thing that allows an identified person to score three times, even if you manage to make him a little rough, is that stubbornly trying and failing, like the blues, stings the final result much more. If there’s one moment in the game that really adds to the Blues’ effort, Peron will have to whip up completely when trying to hit Qadri with a cheap shot after his second goal:
The Blues beefed up their shots in a revenge game, and now that the series is back in Colorado, they face elimination. They need to think fast before Wednesday night to find some extra inspiration, but maybe this time they should be a little more careful. Asked last night about his thoughts on the public crimson directed at Berube before Game 4, Qadri simply said: “I guess he didn’t hear the bulletin-board material.”