Juice Doesn’t Look Like his Normal, Elite Self
We hold Juuse Saros to a very high standard. He’s one of the elite goalies of the NHL, but quite frankly, he hasn’t looked it on this road trip. The best goalie performance came from Kevin Lankinen in the lone Nashville win against the Edmonton Oilers.
This doesn’t mean that Saros wasn’t completely under fire and that the defense did their part, because that’s untrue. Against Winnipeg, Saros fell victim to some outstanding offensive trickery from Kyle Connor, while his teammates let the game get away from them in what turned into a parade to the penalty box for both teams.
The point is, Saros hasn’t been able to bail the Predators out like he has in the past. We’ve become spoiled to the point that we just expect on bad nights for the team that Saros will treat us to the win, but he hasn’t been able to deliver on that. He’s just been ordinary.
Against the Jets, Saros finishes with one of the worst Goals Saved Above Expected you will ever see from him, coming in with -2.63 GSA. Really, really bad.
In the previous loss to Calgary, Saros kept the Predators ahead on the scoreboard and blanked the opposition as long as he could. Then the bottom fell out on him, and the team as a whole.
I have confidence that Saros will dig his way out of it and string together some outstanding starts and get back to what we know he is. However, I’m seriously thinking about getting Lankinen another couple of starts, maybe as soon as Saturday at home against the Arizona Coyotes.
Saros finishes 0-3-0 on the road trip with save percentages of .871 and .861 in the losses to Winnipeg and Seattle.