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Today’s two-part question comes from reader/loyal commenter (thank you!) DoubleDuck:
- We’re all worried about the potential for Binner to return to his regular season form from last year while hoping he finds a way to sustain the success he had in the playoffs. I’m wondering if I’m alone in thinking bringing back Leddy and allowing him to further gel in the system won’t be a big boost for Binner. Faulk had that less than wonderful first season but since getting more time in the system has become, imho, our most important defenseman. Do you think Leddy will step it up even more (he showed great flashes in the playoffs, when he played) with an offseason in the system under his belt? Lots to unpack here, especially with the fact that Binner’s season last year was partly due to having a really bad defense for a good portion of the year (not to let him off the hook for his own responsibility).
- Which youngin will take the biggest leap this next season? If Scottie P is the answer, does that along with Leddy’s return spell good things for Binner?
I don’t think you’re alone in thinking that about Leddy. I’m not a noted optimist by any stretch of the imagination (though I really do love having my realism proven wrong!) and I think it’s going to take more than Leddy, a defenseman that Binnington didn’t exactly play a large sample size with, to help shore up the goalie’s confidence. I think that there’s a lot more at play there, although I have no idea what it might be. Leddy having a good full season won’t hurt and it’d be great if he could follow in Justin Faulk’s footsteps. Every little bit is going to help at least create a stable environment for Binnington, and if something’s going to help him rebound it’s going to be that.
Honestly I agree with you about what young player should have success - the trick is getting Perunovich into the lineup with the defense looking as full as it is. If Doug Armstrong can work a miracle and convince a team to take Marco Scandella, more power to him. Perunovich was missed in the last couple of postseason games where Craig Berube benched him. Having him in the lineup, plus a healthy Leddy, on top of Faulk and Torey Krug, will go a long way to helping Binnington regain form. If Robert Bortuzzo and Niko Mikkola (along with whoever composes the Blues’ fourth line) could use their frames to clear the crease and get people away from Binnington, that would help him out scads.