The Nashville Predators have said all the right things about supporting Pekka Rinne after a disastrous Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. They’re not guaranteeing that he’ll start instead of Juuse Saros in Game 3, however.
The guy to do that would be Peter Laviolette, but he wouldn’t take the bait on that question on Thursday. He let the Game 3 starter be a mystery for the media and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
There’s some back-and-forth about the goalies knowing who will start, but either way, we’re in the dark.
Amusingly, there are different camps that could look at either decision (Saros or Rinne) as a no-brainer. In many cases, it comes down to how you feel about the team’s loyalty to Rinne – not to mention his strong overall postseason – versus the doubts he’s caused thanks to some recent stumbles.
Granted, it’s also worth noting that Saros has been brilliant in his small sample of NHL appearances.
Either way, Laviolette is smart to play coy, maybe even especially so.
Consider this: Rinne is a towering, aggressive goalie while Saros is one of the smallest netminders in the league. Why give the Penguins the added benefit of knowing, for sure, which of these two very different goalies they’ll face as the series shifts to Nashville?
Whether it’s Rinne or Saros, you can see Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. Click here for the livestream link.