Prove the Doubters Wrong Between the Pipes
If Juuse Saros wasn’t injured, there would still be very little hope in the Nashville Predators pulling off this upset. However, there would at least be an argument to be had that the Predators could push it to seven games and make it interesting.
With David Rittich being the likely Game 1 starter, the cloud of doubts hang over this team. The Avalanche are a high-scoring, speed team that’s going to push the Predators defense to the brink.
Rittich is likely going to have to put up multiple 40-save performances while hoping that he gets a lot of goal support. I’m think four to five goals per game to hang with the Avalanche on the scoreboard.
I do think that Rittich is capable of piling up high save totals, but will that matter if the Avalanche still get four-plus goals? Saros is world class and can conceivably put up the occasional 40-save shutouts, but I’m not sure Rittich can do the same.
If Rittich puts this team on his back with stellar goaltending, he’ll earn himself quite the contract in the offseason as he’s due to be a UFA.