When you put up the kind of numbers Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros has this season, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be kept out of the spotlight.
Saros was named to his first NHL All-Star Game on Thursday, joining Pekka Rinne (four times) and Thomas Vokoun (once) as the only three goalies in Predators franchise history to be named All-Stars.
“He’s certainly well-deserving of the opportunity,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “He’s played like an All-Star, and he’s been the backbone of our team. To see him be able to get recognized on a national scale, and he certainly deserves it and we’re all very happy for him.”
Since Hynes took over as Predators coach on Jan. 7, 2020, Saros ranks first in the NHL in save percentage, and second in both wins and goals-against average.
Saros currently ranks second in the NHL with 20 wins, and he has the second-most starts with a save percentage of .900 or better (23). He’s allowed two goals or fewer in 80 percent of his starts this year (24 of 30).
The 26-year-old Finn leads the league in shots faced (957), saves (887), and ice time (1,827:45), he ranks third in save percentage (.927), fourth in even-strength save percentage (.933), fifth in goals-against average (2.30), and seventh in short-handed save percentage (.923).
He’s considered one of the Vezina Trophy frontrunners.
“I think everybody knew he was going to go to the All-Star Game; it’s no surprise,” Predators captain Roman Josi said. “But it’s a big deal. It’s his first All-Star Game in his first real season as the [full-time] starter and he’s been unbelievable for us. It’s a huge honor and it’s well-deserved.”
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