4 Big Questions for the Nashville Predators in 2020-21

Nashville Predators (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Nashville Predators (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Juuse Saros #74 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

2. Can Juuse Saros carry the load in 2020-21?

It is no secret that teams with the best goalie tandems this season will succeed in what will be a sprint to the finish line in a shortened and condensed 56-game schedule.

Therefore, teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, the Dallas Stars and the Montreal Canadiens could be set up to really thrive in 2020-21 given their strength between the pipes.

What about the Nashville Predators though?

It was a rough ride for veteran Pekka Rinne who went 18-14-4 in 2019-20 with a 3.17 Goals Against Average and a .895 Save Percentage.

That is not what you want.

Pekka Rinne #35
Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Then there was Juuse Saros who really flourished under new Head Coach John Hynes, and he was the regular starter for the Predators down the stretch and in the postseason.

Saros finished last year 17-12-4 with a 2.70 GAA and a .914 SV% to go along with four shutouts, although he was shaky in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a .895 SV% and a 3.22 GAA.

However, clearly having earned the trust of Hynes, it wouldn’t be surprising if Saros starts the 2020-21 NHL season as the undisputed starter for the Predators.

He’s still a couple of years away from his prime at 25-years-old and has high upside, and it is likely that he gets leaned on a lot this year due to the fact that he has less wear and tear on his body and will have the endurance to maybe go in both nights of a back-to-back if needed.

While Rinne will still be relied on during the course of a 56-game season, it does appear as though the starting job is beginning to be handed over to Juuse Saros, and only time will tell if he’s able to handle the pressures of that role on a full-time basis in 2020-21.