Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 11/3/14
Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images It’s time to get our season previews underway and what better way to start it then to take a look at the position that has the least number of players: goalies! Instead of the norm of doing a player by player preview for the upcoming season, we’re condensing it into a few articles looking at the different areas of the game: offense, defense, goaltending, special teams, coaching. In each article we’ll look at each player available for that position and how we at The Predatorial feel they are going to do in the shotgun season we are about to see commenced. Nashville has been fortunate to be graced with the presence of an All-World starting goaltender in Pekka Rinne and a class-act, very capable backup in Chris Mason. With Anders Lindback traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning prior to Free Agency this summer, Nashville’s signing of Mason on July 1st was arguably their best move of Free Agency as a whole. That being said, how will both actually look in the upcoming season? With Rinne’s sub-par performance in the KHL and Mason training away here in the Music City, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how ready both are for the upcoming season here in just about one week’s time. However, let’s take a look at what we saw and what we can look forward to for both goaltenders. CHRIS MASON Since departing the Predators initially after the 2008 season, Mason has served 2 years in St. Louis before signing with Atlanta and then being shuffled to Winnipeg. Last year saw Mason play with the Winnipeg Jets organization in their first full season in Winnipeg after moving from Atlanta. The then-Jets netminder finished the season with a 8-7-1 record, a .898 Sv%, and a 2.59 GAA with 2 shutouts. Mason fought for playing time in net with Ondrej Pavelec, yet Mason’s departure from the Jets benefited the Predators on Day 1 of Free Agency this past summer. With the addition of Mason to the Predators lineup, Nashville adds a sure-fire steady backup goaltender to compliment Pekka Rinne whenever the need should arise. Mason is familiar with the Predators system and with it’s goaltending coach Mitch Korn, so having him in the familiar back-up role in the lineup is more of a bonus than most people imagine. While I would figure 80-90% of the games this season will be played by Pekka Rinne, having a sturdy backup like Chris Mason will be advantageous for the Predators whenever Rinne needs a break or becomes a bit overplayed. With a short 48 game season to be played in just a span of around 3 months, having a capable backup is an absolute necessity. PEKKA RINNE The Finnish netmonster had such a lackluster performance over in the KHL during the lockout, it’s already being forgotten about by nearly everyone. However, the facts still remain: 9-11-2, .897 Save Percentage, 3.08 GAA, and one shutout Not the kind of numbers we’d expect from a goaltender that has yet to fall under a .911 Sv% in the NHL and hasn’t had higher than a 2.53 GAA either, which both of those came in his “worst” season with the Predators. “Worst” being a very subjective term when your stats look like this for that year (2009-2010): 32-16-5, .911 Save Percentage, 2.53 GAA, and seven shutouts Now, while I’m simply attributing his KHL play as “going through the motions” and not having the defense in front of him that he will here in Nashville, I fully expect the Pekka Rinne that we all know and are used to seeing emerge to lead the way for the Predators during this shortened season. All time for Nashville, Rinne has been absolutely superb: 138-72-26, .921 Sv%, 2.35 GAA, and twenty-three shutouts. This includes a record of 43-18-8 last year, with a .923 Sv% and a 2.39 GAA with 5 shutouts. To state it simply: The Predators need Pekka Rinne to be on top of his game when the season begins. If the Predators falter, then the season could be lost very quickly. If the Predators start out with a hot stretch, then a divisional title isn’t out of the question. Ultimately, it all comes down to goaltending with Pekka Rinne being the centerpiece of the organization. GOALTENDING PRE-SEASON GRADE: A How many teams in the NHL have a goaltending pair like Rinne/Mason that can pretty much handle anything thrown their way? Not many. Because of this, Nashville is set up to have a great chance of success this season. Only a full collapse of both goaltenders will be the demise of the Preds (in my opinion), something I honestly don’t see happening
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview


Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

WATCH: ESPN reporter calls first First Take a 'train wreck'

Mike Trout criticized for tweet about Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Early 2016 NFL Draft prospect rankings

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.