Most Valuable Backup Predator: Juuse Saros
I originally had Juuse Saros as the Most Improved Predator. When I looked at his stats, I realized that his performance was pretty much the same as last season. He had a bad October that resulted in him going down to Milwaukee & figuring things out. After three regulation losses in October, he only had two the rest of the season. Peter Laviolette was outspoken about his faith in Saros, and gave him every chance to succeed.
He also wasn’t afraid to go to Saros in tough spots. Saros was on the second game in back to backs no matter who the Nashville Predators were up against. He got a 43-save shutout against the Vegas Golden Knights. He was good for 46 saves in Edmonton. When he got the call in Washington for a game the Predators needed to clinch home ice in the playoffs, nobody batted an eye. I would have been concerned about that decision in October. I wasn’t in April.
When you were a team playing against the Predators & you found out Pekka Rinne wasn’t playing, you felt good. Not anymore.
Worst Call Against Predators: Goalie Interference Against Viktor Arvidsson (April 3 at Florida Panthers)
I’ll be honest with you guys: I have no idea what constitutes goalie interference. It’s to the NHL what a catch is to the NFL. So I really don’t know if the call at the end of the April 3 game against the Panthers was correct or not. What I do know is that it made the Washington game more interesting & kept the Panthers in the playoff hunt.
Fortunately, the Nashville Predators ended up clinching everything on Thursday night anyway. It ended up not meaning too much for them. If anything, it might have made them more determined. I don’t know. I also don’t know if this is interference or not, so I’ll have you take another look.
I mean, maybe Viktor Arvidsson is strong enough to spin Roberto Luongo around like the NHL & their apologists claim. If so, good for him. For comparison’s sake, here’s something that isn’t considered goalie interference by the NHL:
They ran Jake Allen over! If that isn’t considered interfering with a goalie, I don’t know what can be.