No clear answer between the pipes
Maybe you can call this a good problem to have as the Predators have two highly capable goaltenders and don’t know which one to start for Game 1.
Heading into training camp it was clear that there would be some friendly competition between Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros to get the starting role.
One week of training camp hasn’t settled anything yet other than the bond between these two teammates remains incredibly strong and they can hopefully both help the team be successful:
This probably surprises some fans because Saros was playing so well before the pause. He was quite literally carrying the team over the last month and propelled them up the division standings to just six points behind Dallas for third place.
But Rinne is the battle-tested veteran who has had playoff success, along with some playoff blunders as well. This is a such a tough decision to make, and I don’t envy Hynes or anyone else who has a say in making this decision.
There’s also the thought of Games 2 and 3 of the qualifying round being back-to-backs. Which means there’s a chance that Rinne and Saros both get a start in those games. That still doesn’t answer the all important question of who to start for Game 1.
I’ve gone back and forth on this dilemma, but I’ve settled on Rinne as the starter for Game 1. It’ll be more surprising if Saros gets the start over Rinne than vice versa.