Pekka Rinne is the catalyst that carries the Nashville Predators more times than not. But where does he rank in a division full of formidable ones?
The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the division as we’re not at the post-All-Star break. Great teams are almost always led by an elite goaltender, especially in the postseason.
When it comes to the Central Division, there are some outstanding goaltenders that make most of the squad in the division tough adversaries. We’re biased, but most of us believe that Rinne is the gold standard of the crop of goaltenders in within the division. However, now that we’re on the back end of the regular season, where is every team’s goaltender trending. Are they trending upward and primed to get hot when it matters most?
A lot of a team’s success or failure can be linked to how well their goaltenders are performing. Not just their numbers, but their consistency as well. Let’s dive into these power rankings and see if it gives some clarity to how the division race will unfold.
Slumping Blues and Jake Allen
Not a bigger disappointment for me when it comes to young goaltenders not blossoming than Jake Allen. The Blues were riding high just two seasons ago before the Predators eliminated them in the second round. Allen seemed to be on the cusp of becoming one of the next great goaltenders. His numbers have gradually declined over the last four seasons. It’s leaving the Blues in a precarious situation to figure out where to go next.
Allen has been the team’s primary goaltender with 36 starts this season. His save percentage is now below 90 percent and he’s allowing over three goals per game. Not good for a team that averages less than three goals per game, which ranks in the bottom half of the league. Fans are probably fed up with him and ready to move on for good.
It appears the Blues are now going to lean more heavily on the 25-year-old Jordan Binnington for the rest of the season. In his nine starts the Blues are 5-1 and his numbers are rock solid. Maybe they have found something, but my confidence isn’t high that the youngster continues that trend. The Blues might be heading for last place, though they are making a run right now.