Blues staying confident ahead of Game 4 with ‘unflappable’ Husso

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The switch from Jordan Binnington to Ville Husso in goal for the rest of their Second Round series (and possibly beyond) shouldn’t affect the St. Louis Blues like it might other teams.

Husso’s teammates are very familiar with his work in net after he started 38 regular-season games and the first three games of their First Round series against the Minnesota Wild. They know him, he knows them. Now they have work to do in evening up their Second Round series with the Colorado Avalanche.

“He’s ready to go,” said Blues head coach Craig Berube. “He’s done a great job this year of developing himself throughout the season with [goaltending coach] Davey Alexander. And he’s become a better goalie over the season.”

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

Husso did a lot of watching at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, starting just four of St. Louis’ opening 21 games. But he slowly worked his way into a rotation and then grabbed the No. 1 reins in January. The Blues won 10 of his first 11 starts once the calendar turned to 2022 and he took majority of the starts towards the end of the regular season.

The 27-year-old Husso posted a .926 save percentage at 5-on-5, per Natural Stat Trick, in 40 regular-season games along with a 6.09 goals saved above average. That helped him get the start for the Wild series. But after posting a shutout in Game 1 against the Wild, he allowed nine goals in the next two games and lost the starting job to Binnington.

Now after Nazem Kadri’s collision with Binnington that’s put the netminder out for the series, it’s Husso’s net once again.

“He’s just a kid who seems pretty unflappable,” said Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. “He’s got great energy in the room. Just a true character who plays with a lot of passion and I’m sure he’s champing at the bit to get in there. He was put in a tough spot [in Game 3] coming into a playoff game. But you can see how the fans reacted. I’m sure he’s going to embrace that. And as a team we know what we got back there. So we’re very comfortable.”

[MORE: New scrutiny for Avs’ Kadri after collision with Binnington]

Husso’s return to the net got off to a rough start Saturday night. He allowed four goals on 23 shots after coming in for Binnington early in the first period during St. Louis’ 5-2 defeat. Entering Game 4 Monday night, with a chance to even the series, the Blues can keep their composure and keep their eyes on the job at hand and not revenge for the Kadri/Binnington incident.

“Of course,” Bortuzzo said of Blues players wanting to react to Kadri. “I’m sure a lot of guys did. But our focus is on winning the series. I think that would be kind of misplacing a lot of our energy. I think we like where our group’s at — where we’re competing at a really high level. So I think that’s where we’re gonna focus our attention.”

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. ST. LOUIS BLUES (COL leads 2-1)
Game 1 – Avalanche 3, Blues 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Blues 4, Avalanche 1
Game 3 – Avalanche 5, Blues 2
Game 4 – May 23: Avalanche at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 5 – May 25: Blues at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 – May 27: Avalanche at Blues, TBD
*Game 7 – May 29: Blues at Avalanche, TBD

More NHL news

The Wraparound: Nothing seems to slow down the Lightning NHL Rink Wrap: McDavid earns his M-V-P chants; Panthers on brink Injury puts Blues’ Binnington out for remainder of Second Round

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Blues staying confident ahead of Game 4 with ‘unflappable’ Husso originally appeared on NBCSports.com