The budding feud between pop star Justin Bieber and All-Star Jordan Binnington continues to escalate, as the two head towards an eventual showdown. Meanwhile, the THW goalie rankings midseason update is out. We’ll take a look at the results.
Bieber Shows Off His Hands
Bieber and Binnington have been playfully feuding since early this month. After the singer posted a video of his shootout efforts in a rec game, Binnington hit up the comment section to challenge him to a shootout competition. The two sides traded barbs and conditions, and eventually, the challenge was accepted, with Budweiser Canada stepping up to offer added charity incentives.
Since then, the battlefront has been fairly quiet. Until yesterday, when Bieber posted two videos on Instagram demonstrating his fairly admirable stickhandling abilities. Bieber posted the video, saying “we all have our own unique relationship with God! Everyone has access to him,” quoting what he was saying in the video at the time, then adding, “Oh and btw @binniner stay woke.”
Binnington saw the challenge and responded, saying “nice work. Hands are looking smooth. Keep your head up, I’m poke checking you on shots 2, 5 and 7.” There’s no word yet on when the two will actually square off, and they missed an obvious opportunity at the All-Star Game in Binnington’s NHL hometown. But if the comment section is anything to judge by, it will be can’t-miss viewing.
THW Goalie Rankings Released
At The Hockey Writers, we release biannual goalie rankings to keep track of the best and worst goaltenders from around the league. The midseason update is always very interesting, as it tracks those goalies who make a significant impact early in the season, rising from obscurity to becoming central parts of their franchise.
This season, that was especially true for goaltenders like Linus Ullnark, Joonas Korpisalo, and Tristan Jarry, who rose from low spots on the list or from not being ranked at all to climb into top-half spots. Jarry, in particular, has been one of the hottest goaltenders on the planet this season and is forcing hard decisions for Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are seasoned veterans like Martin Jones, Jonathan Quick, and Jimmy Howard, who, either through age or declining team performance, have sunk towards the bottom of the list. Their performances this season have been a truly sad end to long NHL careers.
Where does your team’s goaltender rank? Who is too high? Too low? Let us know in the comments. And for all your other NHL goaltending news and updates, check out the THW Goalie Page.
Goalie Gram: Lundqvist Gives Back
Henrik Lundqvist wears many masks (and not just the buckets he dons on the ice). He is “the King” to New York Rangers fans. He has been one of the best goaltenders of the last decade in the NHL. He has model good looks and is one of the heroes of the Swedish hockey program. And now, he can add “international philanthropist” to the list.
Instead of traveling to a resort or an escape destination over his All-Star break and the Rangers’ bye week, King Henrik traveled to the Dominican Republic to visit a school he supports through his charitable organization, the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation. Like many who take such trips soon discover, though, the visit benefitted Lundqvist as much as it did the children. “These kids make you smile,” he commented in the post.
The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation, through its fundraising efforts and community outreach, strives to create positive change in the lives of children and adults throughout the world through education and health services.Henrik Lundqvist Foundation Mission Statement
The Rangers return from the bye week with a good opportunity at points, facing the woeful Detroit Red Wings in a home-and-away back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. Lundqvist is certain to get one of those starts and will be pursuing career win number 459. He and Marc-Andre Fleury are currently tied, and they are both pursuing Ed Belfour, who sits fourth all-time with 484 wins.
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Stephen Ground is an author with The Hockey Writers and is co-host of the Two Guys No Cup Podcast. He enjoys studying the numbers and providing fresh looks at various stories.