Posts Tagged ‘pekka rinne’

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State Of The Preds…Goaltending

October 8, 2008

I go into this season with a bit of a deja vu feeling. No…not the club next to the interstate with all the neon lights on the outside and poles on the inside but that uncomfortable feeling that I may see a repeat of something I have seen in the past. Is seems like only a year ago…wait…it was exactly a year ago…that the Preds were heading into the season with a new starting goaltender by the name of Chris Mason. This guy had played so well in relief of then starter Tomas Vokoun that the Preds traded TV away leaving Mason to be ‘the man.’ Many, including yours truly, thought we would be just as good with Mason as we were with Vokoun. Wow…how wrong we were.

This year seems a similar situation. A back up goalie that made a name for himself last year is anointed as the starter in Nashville. He was outstanding for us last year and the Preds climbed aboard his shoulders many times on route to victory. The question I have as I look at our goalie situation for this season is, ‘can Ellis be the number one guy all year?’

My answer is yes. I truly believe that the Preds have found a diamond in the rough. A goalie who was victim to being in a system (Dallas) that was deep in goaltending. Ellis was the odd man out and the Preds were able to bring him to camp to compete for a roster spot. Little did the Preds even know what they had…but they would soon find out. When Mason went mental the Preds turned to Ellis who, single handedly, saved the Preds season with his outstanding play. Splitting time for most of the year it was obvious to Pred fans that Ellis was the stronger of the two and he eventually won out toward the end of the year and going into the playoffs. While I am guarded in my optimism I really believe that Ellis is going to become a top five goalie this year.

His numbers last year prove that he is legit:
GAA – 2.36
Save % – .923
SO – 6

I am not, however, convinced yet that Pekka Rinne is our goalie of the future and truth be told I hope we don’t have to find out this year. I hope I only see him about once every 12-15 games or so to spell Dan for a game. Pekka has yet to impress me but the same could have been said of Vokoun or Ellis before they were given chances to step up.

Whatever the case, whoever is in-between the pipes will have to win some games. We will not be putting up many goals this year and it will be our defense and goaltending that will keep us in games. Ellis can play that role for us and like last year, he is going to have some spells where he is out of sight and will be player of the week in the NHL…just as he was last year.

Predator fans the state of our goaltending is great. (that was me going out on a ledge making a bold prediction…all the eggs in the Dan Ellis basket…here goes nothing!)

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Draft Over…Now What?

June 23, 2008

The first big hurdle in the hockey off-season took place this past weekend as giddy teenage hockey players felt like Cinderella at the ball getting drafted by NHL teams. Not sure if they were as nervous as I was prior to my 4th grade class kickball draft but I’m sure the kids had some butterflies!

Overall I feel really good about the Preds draft. I am not a prospect geek…I spend some time on boards and looks at player rankings but by no means am I an expert. I especially liked the Preds first pick, Boston University Center Colin Wilson. The part that made me smile was when I heard on of the analysts say during the draft that when Colin was asked if he could play at the NHL level next year he said “yes.” Barring an unbelievable camp Wilson will, more than likely, go back to Beantown. He may be part of the extended roster come playoff time if the Preds elect to sign him at the end of the year like they did Legwand.

I’m a big sap (some of you may remember my tears during the first extended standing O near the end of last season) so seeing boyhood friends get drafted by the same team (both first rounders) was pretty cool! How awesome would that be to be having the best day of your life and be able to share it with your best bud who is also having the best day of his life!

Some Pred fans have made issue with drafting a goalie so high (Chet Pickard with the 18th overall pick). I did not have issue with it at all. Yes we have Ellis locked up and yes we have Pekka but we have to look beyond the next two or three years. The careers of goalies are quite a roller coaster…the more top notch talent you have to pull from the better.

The Tennessean reports
that the Preds are close to signing Shea Weber. I am hoping that the deal looks similar to that of Ryan Suters in length…would love to lock Shea up for four more years. Having that tandem locked up is key to our success over the next few years.

What will the Preds do come July 1st? There have been some rumors floating around (I guess we can put the Olli Jokinen rumors to bed now) but I have begun to try not to get too excited. I am hopeful that the Preds are active in the free agent market as we are still looking for that ‘face of the franchise’ that will but some butts in the seats and get this football town excited about a true star. I would hope that they make a play for Hossa at least. What do you guys think?

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Dan Ellis On The Block?

February 15, 2008

A source has told me that Dan Ellis fully expects to be traded and that the Preds would not be getting a goalie in return but would bring up prospect Pekka Rinne to back up Chris Mason.

Another source close to the team said that this idea did seem feasible because they’ve heard that the Preds are eager to get Pekka up to the show.

Not sure who the dance partner would be but you have to assume that it’s a team looking for a solid back and maybe even someone who can shoulder the load full time. I wonder if Atlanta or Tampa Bay could be interested…the goalie situations in both cities leave much to be desired.

If the Preds are confident in Pekka I can see why they would do this. Ellis has impressed this season posting a 13-5-2 record with a 2.31 GAA and .921 SV%…these numbers have not gone unnoticed to the rest of the league. The Preds only signed him to a one year deal and he will be expecting to get a nice raise over the 500k he is earning this year.

I, for one, would be terribly upset to see Ellis go. I think he has a bright future in this league and I wish we could see him develop into that night in and night out go to guy.

What are your thoughts? Do you like this move? Let me hear your opinions on this.

I will let you know if I hear any further developments on this front.