St. Louis Blues starting goalie Jordan Binnington, who missed most of his team's second-round series loss to the Colorado Avalanche after suffering a lower-body injury, admitted on Tuesday that he threw a water bottle at Avs forward Nazem Kadri following Game 3.
Binnington left early in the first period of Game 3 after Kadri crashed into him while attempting to go after a loose puck. During a post-game interview with TNT, Kadri was briefly distracted by something off camera, saying that Binnington had just tossed a water bottle in his direction.
The Blues goalie missed the rest of the series with the injury as the Avalanche advanced to the Western Conference Final in six games.
On Tuesday, Binnington owned up to the water bottle toss during the team's season-ending availability.
"I went to get my knee checked out mid-game. I was coming back to the rink, and the game just ended. Walking down the hallway, I couldn't find a recycling bin on my way down the hallway," explained Binnington. "Right before I walked into the locker room, I see him kind of doing an interview there, smiling, laughing and I'm there in a knee brace limping down the hallway. I just felt like it was a God-given opportunity. I could just stay silent and go in the room or I could say something and just have him look me in the eye and understand what's going on, something to think about. Yeah, I just threw the water bottle, an empty water bottle, it landed like two feet from him. It is what it is there. I mean, but it is what it is. It's hockey and it's a competitive game. So, that's it."
Binnington, who revealed on Tuesday that he won't need surgery on the injury, said he doesn't think Kadri intentionally attempted to injure him on the play.
"It's a physical sport. I think it's playoff time and he's going to go to the net hard, that's how it goes," Binnington said. "I don't think he intentionally was trying to do what he did to me, or for me to get injured I should say, but he knows how to play hard, how to go to the net. It happens in this sport. For me, it is what it is. I just have to kind of deal with it."
Binnington said he wasn't sure if he would have been able to play in the West Final if the Blues had advanced.
"It's kinda of tough to say," he said. "It's just going to take some time, something that since we're not playing, it will have time to get back to fully healed. I can't confirm if that would have been the case (that I could have played)."
Binnington posted an 18-14-4 record with a 3.13 goals-against average and .901 save percentage over 37 regular-season games with the Blues in 2021-22, his sixth year with the club. He had a 1.72 GAA and .949 save percentage over six playoffs games.