A huge factor in the St. Louis Blues' success this season has been their 16-4-2 record at Enterprise Center. While goalie Ville Husso has started only seven home games, he's managed to play a major role in that success.
Husso, who's in his second NHL season, has literally been unbeatable at Enterprise Center this year. He has a 6-0 record on home ice and also played 54:28 in a Dec. 7 overtime win over the Florida Panthers for which Charlie Lindgren earned the decision. He has a 1.74 goals-against average, a .945 save percentage and one shutout in those seven games.
In a season in which starter Jordan Binnington has missed time due to COVID-19 and battled inconsistency since his return, Husso's emergence has been a blessing for the Blues. Forward Brayden Schenn credits the netminder's breakout to increased confidence.
"Confidence is everything, especially if you're a goaltender," Schenn said. "He was always a high-end talent. A little bit more of getting the opportunity and making the most of it."
Husso's upswing in performance and home winning streak actually date back to April 10 of last year, his penultimate home start of the season, when he was in goal for the Blues' 3-2 overtime win over the Wild. He made 31 saves and picked up his first career shutout in his final start, a 4-0 victory over Minnesota. In total, Husso has an eight-game home winning streak in nine starts with a 1.56 GAA, a .950 save percentage and two shutouts.
Schenn believes that late-season surge laid the foundation for Husso's strong performance in 2021-22.
"He had a great second half last year, got confidence," Schenn said. "He's showing to himself that he's got results."
Binnington, a former Stanley Cup champion and All-Star who is in the first season of a new six-year deal, is secure in the starting role. Husso's strong performance, however, has allowed head coach Craig Berube to give his starter sufficient rest without fear of a drop-off. That depth in net could prove pivotal as the Blues navigate the rest of the season.