Will Jordan Binnington play in enough games to earn Calder, Vezina Trophy nod?

The argument is made by our Alex Ferrario who says don't look at the amount, but the quality of games played

Alex Ferrario
March 05, 2019 - 9:10 am
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Can we be honest here? There isn't a better rookie in the NHL right now than Jordan Binnington. So why shouldn't the St. Louis Blues goalie be the front runner for the Calder Trophy (top overall rookie)? Take a look at the stats:

- 9 straight victories as a starter
- 5 shut-outs this season (3rd most by any goalie in the NHL)
- Currently leads the league in save percentage & goals-against average
- HAS ONLY STARTED IN 19 GAMES

Related: Jordan Binnington named NHL Rookie of the Month

Now, for some, that last stat may be an issue when it comes to voting. Why give an NHL award a player who hasn't played the entire season at that level?

That argument can be summed up pretty easily, don't look at the amount of games played but the quality of games played. Shutting out the Tampa Bay Lightning (who has only lost 12 times in regulation this year), shutouts of Arizona & Minnesota, back-to-back, on the road, victories over Nashville twice and only allowing more than two goals once during the win streak.

Binnington has overtaken another rookie goaltender, Carter Hart in Philly, after he has dropped back to reality after playing only three more games than Jordan. Carter also did not take his team from the bottom of the standings in their conference to holding onto a playoff spot.

Then there's the other competition, Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres and Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks. Dahlin has put up six goals and 37 points this season while helping a turnaround season for the Sabres. But, the Sabres have had help in other areas that haven't been the spotlight of the season or, for that matter, the NHL.

Related: Blues 'prospect to watch' Mike Reinke just set an AHL points record for defenseman

But Petterson is the front runner. He's a point-per game player and that's with missing 11 games due to an injury. Pettersson has taken the league by storm as an elite playmaker with a wicked shot to top it all off. Even after looking at that, the Canucks sit eight points out of the playoffs while St. Louis sits in third in their division, which we can all agree is much tougher than the Central.

The last goalie to win the Calder trophy was Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 08-09 season. He played 61 games, winning 31 and holding a 2.29 GA (2nd in the NHL), a .916% (16th) & was 10th in wins. If Binnington continues this pace for the rest of the season (maybe a few more projected games due to Allen's recent struggles), then “Winnington” may be at the league leader in numerous categories and may force a lot of writers into voting him as the top rookie in the league.

Greg Wyshynski, senior writer for ESPN, joined Chili's Week in Hockey, Monday night to give his side of the Calder race.

“The problem is he isn't going to have the body of work that would warrant a Calder trophy for a season. If he continues this pace, he could have the best numbers of any goalie in the league. So as a voter, you'll have to know that he is the best rookie in the last couple of months.”​

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