Blues' Binnington given two-game suspension
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced a two-game suspension for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington for roughing-unsportsmanlike conduct on Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman.
The incident occurred during Wednesday night's 8-5 Wild victory.
Binnington received a match penalty on Wednesday for punching Hartman as the Wild forward was celebrating a goal. Hartman's leg had made contact with Binnington as he crossed the crease to celebrate the goal.
Binnington skated up to an unexpecting Hartman, who had just scored on the power play to put the Wild up 5-4 in the second period, and swung his blocker at Hartman's face.
The 29-year-old said post-game he was surprised to be ejected for the incident, given the contact made with Hartman.
“A little bit. I don’t think I caught him too clean with my [blocker] going after him,” Binnington said. “Like I said, he’s pretty good at diving. That’s his game and that’s totally fine.
"If they don’t want to stay in there and compete until that end, that’s fine, but that’s it, that’s the ref’s decision and that’s fine.”
“I mean, those blockers aren’t soft,” Hartman said post-game. “We don’t have much protection on our face. I’d say so [it was a cheap shot]. It’s nothing new from him. He’s been doing stuff like this for a while.”
Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury skated the length of the ice to challenge Binnington, but the two netminders were kept apart by officials.
“I’m not surprised. I’ve seen Jordan do a few things in his career,” Fleury said of the incident. “That’s why I went. I made [his decision] pretty quick."
Binnington said he respected Fleury's decision to attempt to stand up for his teammate.
“I’m not surprised," Binnington said "I kind of think it was our moment, but I got nothing but respect for Fleury, too. He’s a legendary goalie. Coming down there, shows a lot about him.”
Hartman, who received a minor penalty for roughing in the ensuing scrum, added another goal as part of a three-point night.
“We know the type of player he is. I actually like his game, to be honest,” Binnington said of Hartman. “…He plays the game hard, and I respect it and it’s no problem. It’s kind of how it played out and it’s all good."
"It’s kind of how it played out and it’s all good."
The goal was the fifth Binnington had allowed on 24 shots. Thomas Greiss entered in his place after the match penalty, allowing three goals on 11 shots.
Binnington has a 22-24-5 record this season with a .892 save percentage and a 3.39 goals-against average.