ST. LOUIS – Young goaltender Joel Hofer made the most of his “emergency” stint for the St. Louis Blues this weekend, so much it seems he’s won the chance to stay at the top level for the rest of the season.

Hofer is expected to draw his third straight start Tuesday as the Blues host the Detroit Red Wings.

The 22-year-old, after a brief look last season, thrived in two games against the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets, stopping 65 of 67 shots (.970 save percentage) between both games. He would have officially earned his first NHL shutout on Sunday had it not been for a midgame skate issue, though settled for a combined shutout with veteran Thomas Greiss.

Jordan Binnington, the Blues’ regular starting goalie since their 2019 Stanley Cup run, is eligible to return to the lineup Tuesday evening. He just finished serving a two-game suspension Sunday, following antics against the Minnesota Wild that led to a game misconduct call.

Because of that, the Blues might face some tough roster decisions going forward. Most importantly, it seems as if Hofer won’t put St. Louis over the salary cap for the 2022-23 season. The team made it clear after Sunday’s win, he earned his right to stay.

“He’s not going down,” said Blues head coach Craig Berube. “He’s coming up. He’s doing a good job. He knows he can do the job.”

So what does this mean? Prior to Hofer’s arrival, the Blues only needed the two-goalie tandem of Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss to get through the season. Binnington is tied for the fifth-most starts among netminders this season.

Greiss, a 37-year-old veteran, has been serviceable for the Blues in net when needed, though has only started six times since the flip to the 2023 calendar year. St. Louis signed him to only a year-deal last offseason, so he will become a free agent this summer.

Berube told The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford on Tuesday that Hofer’s play and the decision to keep him will make things a bit trickier for Binnington and Greiss.

“It’s tough for both goalies. They’ve been here all year, but that’s part of the business, and the game, and where we’re at right now. So they’re good pros, and they just go out and work hard.”

The Blues can only dress two goalies per game, but perhaps could keep all three at the top level and have one serve as a healthy scratch each game. Some teams, like the New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets, experimented with this concept in the pandemic altered 2020-21 season to rest guys more regularly with a heavy schedule demand.

St. Louis had all three practicing together on Tuesday, though has not disclosed any roster arrangements regarding all three goalies yet. Thirteen games remain on the schedule as of Tuesday with only three more instances of back-to-back nights and playoff chances looking much slimmer than years past.

If the Blues don’t go to a three-man rotating system, and Hofer indeed stays for the long haul, the only other roster option would be to place Thomas Greiss on waivers, then assign him to AHL-Springfield if he clears. That would mean the Blues would roll with Hofer and Binnington in net for the rest of the season.

That is an option, though a bit risky if Binnington or Hofer needs time to recover from an injury for the rest of the season. The Blues aren’t historically a team that places players on waivers often during the season either.

Regardless of how the Blues proceed, Hofer has found a home and feels great about his second taste of the NHL.

“It felt great,” said Hofer via Bally Sports Midwest on his first NHL home win Sunday. “Obviously, in front of the fans was awesome. The team played well in front of me, and I had a lot of fun.”

Blues fans may remember Hofer for leading the AHL-affiliate Springfield Thunderbirds to the Calder Cup Final last season, a run during which he also enjoyed a rare, empty-net goalie goal. Earlier this year, Hofer agreed to a two-year, one-way contract extension that takes effect next fall, another sign that he should be up for good starting next year.