Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros is out for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Saros is day-to-day, so his absence should be short-term.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 28, 2021
Nashville Predators Juuse Saros is Out
It isn’t clear from the tweet as to why Saros didn’t suit up on Sunday. He was out earlier this season for the same time frame with an upper-body injury in early March, but it isn’t clear if this is related. Saros has been playing his best hockey of the season lately. He has allowed one or fewer goals in each of his past seven games and won six out of his past eight games. His performance has helped the Predators get back into the playoff race in the Central Division. They are two points back of Chicago for the final playoff spot, making Saros’s absence from their game against them a big loss.
Saros has had a strong season overall. He has won nine of his 18 starts, has a save percentage of .923 and a goals-against-average of 2.38. His save percentage is much higher than fellow Predators goalie Pekka Rinne‘s .899, however, both goalies split duties in the crease.
This is Saros’s fifth year in Nashville and he has been a strong goaltender for them throughout his career. The 25-year-old was drafted 99th overall in 2013 and has never had a save percentage under .914. He is succeeding even though he is small by NHL standards. The vast majority of goalies are over six feet tall, but Saros is 5′-foot-11’, showing that smaller goalies can still succeed.
What This Means for The Future
Thankfully, he is not expected to be gone for long, so this shouldn’t have any impact long-term for the Predators. Short term it is unfortunate they couldn’t turn to Saros for their big game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the team they’re chasing for a playoff spot. A win regulation would have them tied with a Chicago and a regulation loss would have them four points back. They will have to turn to Rinne who hasn’t had a strong month. He’s only allowed fewer than two goals twice out of nine games he’s played in March. He has won his only game against Chicago this season, so that is some good news.
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