Ramblings: Rinne vs. Saros, Couture vs. Monahan (Nov 22)

Ian Gooding


My keeper league auction draft started last weekend. In case you're wondering why it didn't finish in an evening, it is because bids are placed via private forum and must stand for 72 hours before the player can be claimed. I believe this is what the guys over at Keeping Karlsson call a slow draft.

The first player to be claimed was Nathan MacKinnon, who to no surprise cost the owner big money. The second player to be claimed was Pekka Rinne for the minimum bid by me. All I needed was a third goalie (start two goalies), and he seems to fit that role on fantasy teams at this point in his career. I might not be done in the goalie department, as I may also decide to bid on a fourth goalie with whatever spare change I can find in my sofa. My defense has some bigger holes than my goaltending, so that's what I need to concentrate on.

I'm hoping there's still some juice to squeeze from Rinne as he plays out the final year of his contract. New coach John Hynes has already begun the handover of the starting goaltending to Juuse Saros, who started all four of the Preds' play-in games and most games down the stretch as the hot hand. Saros was one of the league's hottest goalies before the season pause (8 GP, 1.68 GAA, .951 SV%), while Rinne allowed eight goals to Edmonton the last time he started (March 2).

Coaching changes matter to goalies. Since Hynes took over as head coach on January 7, Rinne has played 11 games while posting a 3.59 GAA and .895 SV%. Meanwhile, Saros has played 19 regular-season games, posting a 2.13 GAA and .935 SV%. Saros followed up with a 3.22 GAA and .895 SV% during Nashville's four postseason games against low-scoring Arizona, which put a damper on any momentum he built up during the last two months of the regular season.  

Rinne finished the 2019-20 season with some abysmal numbers (3.17 GAA, .895 SV%), but his dropoff was sudden. He was a consistent fantasy option before that, playing in at least 55 games in each of his previous five seasons with no higher than a 2.50 GAA in any of those five seasons. His career accomplishments have been impressive, not the least of which was being named the top fantasy goalie of the past decade by this website (I take responsibility for that).

If this is it for Rinne as far as helping your fantasy team, t