Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna gives his Daily face-to-face Start of the goalkeeper match of the day for Tuesday. January 10, 2023:
Why I love this game:
I love watching passionate goaltenders like Markstrom and Binnington. And Tuesday’s game is the first of a two-game series in St. Louis between the Flames and Blues. The teams are separated by just three points in the Western Conference and will face off again on Thursday.
To monitor :
Flames center Nazem Kadri against Jordan Binnington. Not to take anything away from Jacob Markstrom, but sometimes the game within the game takes precedence. And I’m very curious to see how it goes.
Remember the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs when Kadri — then a member of the Colorado Avalanche — collided with Binnington in the St. Louis crease? The impact ended Binnington’s season. But that wasn’t the end of the fight: the Blues goalkeeper threw a bottle of water at Kadri during the post-match press conference. Tonight they meet for the first time since last spring.
Theatrics aside, Binnington has faced an incredibly high rate of counter scoring opportunities this season. Markstrom is much the same with Calgary. So it was difficult to get a reading on either netminder. They both stole wins and had frustrating outings.
Binnington has a knack for playing well when he makes a few big saves early in the game. And Markstrom has spent the 2022-23 NHL season trying to knock out infuriating goals at inopportune times. The Flames and Blues each need their respective No. 1 guards to play well if they plan on making the playoffs.
What fantasy owners should do:
Markstrom was taken out in Calgary’s last game. But before that, he hadn’t allowed more than three goals in a game since December 16. I would start the Flames goaltender. In Binnington’s last six games, he has allowed four or more goals on four occasions. I would hesitate to start it tonight.
Conclusion for Jacob Markstrom:
Be patient with the young talent of the Blues. St. Louis can move the puck quickly: an early drop is not advised.
Conclusion for Jordan Binnington:
Forget Kadri and focus on the puck.