SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — St. Louis’ season started to turn around as soon as goalie Jordan Binnington came up from the minors to help lead the Blues from the bottom of the standings.
The key moment for their opponent in the Western Conference final came much later in the year when San Jose coach Peter DeBoer made the decision to stick with struggling Martin Jones in net midway through the first round. Jones found his game and has helped carry the Sharks into the final four.
The decision to change goalies in St. Louis and stick with one in San Jose now has these two star-crossed franchises eight wins away from a first Stanley Cup title.
“When we put him in Philly as the starter, we haven’t looked back,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Friday on the eve of Game 1. “It would be disingenuous to say that this was anywhere part of the plan. This is the Jordan Binnington story in the sense that he’s made the best of the opportunity.”
Binnington was called up from the minors in December and then had a shutout in his first start against the Flyers on Jan. 7, becoming a big reason why the team in last place in the NHL on…