The 2018-19 season was full of surprises. Just take the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks.
After finding themselves dead last in the entire NHL at the midway point of the season, the Blues went on to become Stanley Cup champions. The main reason: rookie Jordan Binnington.
After franchise superstars Daniel and Henrik Sedin retired the previous offseason, the Canucks were expected to take a huge step backward. Instead the made nearly a 10 point improvement and nearly qualified for a playoff spot. The main reason: rookie Elias Peterson.
Seeing the connection here?
In both the Blues’ case and the Canucks’ case, the team was absolutely transformed by a hot shot rookie. As you might expect, both of those hot shot rookies were in the running for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. Pettersson, of course, claimed the award at the 2019 NHL Awards, but it’s clear that Binnington is still at least a little salty over that decision.
While the Blues were in Vancouver to face the Canucks on Tuesday night, Binnington was asked if he thinks voters made the wrong choice. His response:
First off… there’s a bad taste in your mouth about the outcome of last year!? YOU WON THE STANLEY CUP, DUDE! As a rookie!
Secondly, Pettersson hard 151 1st place votes to Binnington’s 18 first place votes…
Binnington had a rookie goalie season for the ages and will surely be a solid netminder for the Blues for years to come but… Pettersson is the second coming of Pavel Bure for Canucks fans. The teenager put up nearly a point per game last season and already has 20 points in 15 games this season. Again… case closed.