Charlie Lindgren is 1 of 5 goalies to start a game for the Blues this season
The Blues seemingly have a wealth of talent at the goaltending position.
The injuries and COVID list have hit the Blues very hard in 2021. Opportunities have arisen for minor league players to get playing time and contribute to the team’s dogged success. The goalies, in particular, have played admirably.
The five goalies to play this year are Binnington, Ville Husso, Charlie Lingren, Joel Hofer, and John Gillies. The highest goals against average belongs to Hofer, at 3.07. But other than that, no goalie is above 2.82 (Gillies). And the save percentages are all above .910, with the exception of Hofer.
Joel Hofer is a long-term prospect for the team. He won’t, theoretically, be needed as a starter or backup for a couple of years. Lindgren is a depth goalie, as is Gillies. But their exceptional play will be noticed by other teams who may need help between the pipes.
Jordan Binnington will be reactivated from the Covid protocol list very soon. This will relegate one of the depth goalies to the minors. Or, President of Hockey Operations Doug Armstrong could spin one of them off in a trade.
Lindgren has the most NHL experience, with 27 games played so far, most of those with Montreal. For his NHL career, he has a 2.87 goals against average. He could be a full-time backup on this league, and likely would relish that opportunity.
But you can’t have too much depth. Teams live and die with their goaltending, so having the depth guys play so well is a terrific benefit to the club. It’s helped them hold the line as they wait for other players to come back from injury.
The Blues, when fully healthy, project Binnington and Husso as the 2 goalies on the NHL club, with Hofer and Lindgren at the AHL Springfield team. Gillies would likely be the odd man out, or Hofer could be sent to another minor league team.
We will see how it shakes out. For now, the fill-ins have played amazingly well, helping the team win as they whether the injury/Covid storm.