With Dan Ellis out of the picture now, Nashville’s goaltending situation cleared up over this past offseason moving Pekka Rinne to the top of the goalie depth chart. Rinne made the most of his second full NHL season, posting a 32-16-5 record, 2.53 GAA, .911 SV% and 7 SO. It was March, however, where Rinne really solidified his new role by helping Nashville’s case for a playoff spot with a 9-3-1 record, 1.81 GAA, .934 SV% and 4 SO.
In his two NHL seasons, Rinne has never started more than 54 games but as the sole number one, the Predators are expecting him to make at least 60 starts in 2009-10, according to GM David Poile. There shouldn’t be any reservations with the increase in workload while drafting Rinne this season given that 13 goalies started more than 60 games last season. If anything, you should be thankful that Nashville has finally appointed a number one goalie and we don’t have to keep speculating which goalie gets the start each night. Anders Lindback won the backup goalie spot out of camp over Mark Dekanich and Chet Pickard but we don’t see him challenging Rinne for starts.