Another controversial play involving the Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri could force Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington to miss the rest of the second-round series between the two teams.
And Binnington apparently holds Kadri responsible as he allegedly threw a water bottle at Kadri as the striker was conducting a post-match interview on TNT.
Binnington left Saturday’s third game less than seven minutes into the first period after Kadri knocked down Binnington as he battled Blues defenseman Calle Rosen for a loose puck just outside the crease. Binnington never returned as the Avalanche won 5-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. According to The Athletic, Binnington has a sprained knee that could sideline him for “several weeks”.
Kadri, 34, was suspended for eight games in last year’s first-round series against the Blues for an illegal head check on Justin Faulk. While with the Maple Leafs, Kadri was suspended in the first round of the 2018 and 2019 playoffs.
“Look at Kadri’s reputation. That’s all I have to say,” Blues coach Craig Berube told reporters after Saturday’s game.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Kadri’s reputation “means nothing” and it was “legal play.”
Binnington, who led the Blues to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup three years ago as a rookie, wasn’t St. Louis’ starter at the start of the playoffs, but he took over the job from Ville Husso in Game 4 of the first round, earning his first playoff win since the decisive Cup victory in 2019.
While Kadri was discussing the game on TNT’s post-match show, he stopped at one point and did a double take to his left. “I don’t know if he just threw a water bottle at me or not,” Kadri said of Binnington. Later in his press conference, Kadri reiterated that he believed Binnington threw the bottle at him, and The Athletic reported that it was in fact Binnington.
Kadri blamed his collision with Binnington on Rosen.
“I just see a loose puck,” he said. “I was kind of just sitting behind him and just trying to push him with my stick. And I think their defender collided with me and pushed me towards him. So, you know, if it hadn’t been for that, I don’t think I would have hit him at all. It’s a loose puck. I’m just trying to push it down.
The Blues will attempt to tie the series on Monday night in Game 4.