Jordan Binnington has been suspended two games for his latest antics in the St. Louis Blues’ 8-4 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.
The Blues netminder received a suspension for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct and will be eligible to return Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
The incident occurred midway through the second period after Wild forward Ryan Hartman bumped into Binnington while celebrating his goal that gave the Wild a 5-4 lead, provoking the fiery goaltender to retaliate by punching Hartman in the head with his blocker.
As the Blues goalie was being separated from the scrum by officials, Minnesota’s Marc-André Fleury skated the length of the ice, dropping the mitts and squaring up for a potentially epic goalie fight.
The tilt would not happen, though, as officials held the two apart in order to calm things down.
Binnington was assessed a match penalty and was ejected from the contest, accumulating 17 penalty minutes in total. Fleury was given a two-minute minor for leaving his crease, while Hartman served a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Binnington leads all NHL goalies in penalty minutes this season with 27.
The tension was bubbling under the surface throughout the game, with the Wild bench chirping Binnington minutes before things turned ugly.
“You just knew he was going to do something at some point,” Hartman said.
“It was a hard game,” Binnington said. “They’re a tough team to play against. They’re hard around the net and I just felt it gets to a certain point … goals were going in, so it was frustrating. I just felt, yeah, that was the moment.”
“Nothing new from him,” Hartman said. “He’s been doing stuff like that for a while.”
Fleury felt he needed to step and give his counterpart a taste of his own medicine, especially after he heard that Binnington speared a Wild skater in the first period, as reported by The Athletic’s Joe Smith.
“I felt that was my guy,” Fleury said. “I had to take care of him.”
“It would have been fun,” Fleury added. “The crowd was up on their feet. I never had a fight in my career, so it would have been pretty cool. Too bad.”
Fleury even pleaded with the linesman to no avail, as heard in audio released by the Wild on Thursday.
Binnington, never one to back down from confrontation, admitted that he would’ve embraced a showdown at centre ice.
“It kind of felt like it was our moment,” Binnington said.
Not only were the worthy participants looking forward to it, but so were their teammates.
“You just would’ve loved to see it — Binner vs. Marc-André Fleury on TNT,” Brayden Schenn said. “If you’re looking for viewership and ratings and people talking about the game … that’s one way to do it.”
Binnington attempted to hype up the crowd following the skirmish; a curious choice considering he just allowed his fifth goal of the night and squandered a comfortable 3-1 lead after the first period.
“I don’t exactly know what he was doing,” said Ryan Reaves, a former teammate in St. Louis. “He just got buried on, took a five-minute penalty and he’s trying to fire up the crowd? It was a weird time to fire up the crowd. Hey, appreciate the power play I guess.”
For the proverbial cherry on top, Reaves gave the NHL on TNT panel an interview for the ages after the game, wearing no shirt of course, as has become tradition in Minnesota this season.
Minnesota’s offensive onslaught would eventually culminate in a 8-5 win, with Hartman potting two goals and Reaves joining in on the fun with his third marker of the season.