By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
WE'RE BAA-AACK !!!
PROSPECT PROMOTIONS / DEMOTIONS:
01-14-12 -- D Cade Fairchild returned to Peoria (AHL) by St. Louis (NHL). (LINK).
01-11-12 -- D Cade Fairchild called up to St. Louis (NHL) from Peoria (AHL). (LINK).
01-11-12 -- F Evgeny Grachev assigned to Peoria (AHL) by St. Louis (NHL). (LINK).
01-13-12 -- F Vladimir Tarasenko traded to SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) by Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL). (LINK).
PLAYERS ON SICK CALL:
01-13-12 -- F Philip McRae (Peoria/AHL) out indefinitely with upper body injury. (LINK).
01-09-12 -- F Jay Barriball and D Jake Gannon (Peoria/AHL) remain on IR with concussions. (LINK).
01-08-12 -- C Jori Lehtrera (Sibir Novosibirsk/KHL) out for the season with a broken leg. (LINK).
PLAYERS RETURNED TO DUTY:
01-12-12 -- F Anthony Peluso returned to .lineup after missing five games with concussion. (LINK).
PLAYERS ON SUSPENSION:
None to report this week.
BINNINGTON RECOVERING FROM SLOW START:
Drafted in the third round (88th overall) by the Blues in the 2011 Entry Draft, goaltender Jordan Binnington was coming off of solid performances in the Ontario Hockey league playoffs and the Memorial Cup, and was poised to take the reins as the number one goalie in Owen Sound this season.
A slow start by Binnington, however, kept overage veteran and Rangers' draftee Scott Stajcer in the number one spot. Binnington played four of Owen Sound's first five games this year, but managed only a 2-2-0 record, a 3.44 goals-against average, and a save percentage of 88.3%. October, November and December were little better for the Richmond Hill, Ontario product, and by New Years' Eve Binnington was losing the statistics battle with Stajcer despite playing in more games, posting an 11-10-0 record, a 3.51 GAA and 88.4% save percentage, compared to Stajcer's 6-5-4 record, 2.44 GAA and 92.8% saves rate.
In calendar year 2012, however, Binnington is making up some ground in the numbers game. Stajcer has played three of Owen Sound's five games so far in January, posting a 2-1-0 record, a 2.28 GAA and a 92.9% saves rate. Binnington, on the other hand, is 1-0-1 in January and has allowed just four goals on 71 shots in 124:29 of playing time for a nifty 1.92 GAA and 94.4% save percentage.
Owen Sound is making a move towards the playoffs, rising to sixth place in the Western Conference of the OHL on the strength of a 3-0-1 streak in their last four games, so perhaps Binnington will get another opportunity to shine as he did in last year's OHL post-season. In the 2011 OHL playoffs, Binnington came off the bench to start and win the two deciding games of the league championship series against Mississauga, posting a 1.94 GAA and 94.3% saves rate when the season was on the line for the Attack.
Below is some YouTube video, showing Binnington taking some shots at training camp last fall. After getting beaten on the first couple of shots, "Binnasty" recovers and displays his classic butterfly style and his quick glove hand.
FEATURES THIS WEEK:
The Peoria Rivermen won three of four games this week, and still can't move up in the standings or the playoff seedings. Details at 2:00 PM Central Time.
Rattie replaces Lehtera on the weekly "regular" list after Lehtera's season-ending injury; Tarasenko makes his debut with SKA St. Petersburg today. Both Peoria goalies had strong weeks. Details at 3:00 PM Central Time.
The most complete weekly source of Blues' prospect scoring and goaltending stats available anywhere in one place. Details at 4:00 PM Central Time.