The Nashville Predators are back in action Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs after a three-day hiatus. But in the down time, Predators team reporter Emma Lingan detailed what many at 501 Broadway call the “Department of Goaltending Excellence.”
The Nashville trio of goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok, goaltending development coach Jason Barron, and former Predators goaltender and current European development coach and scout Pekka Rinne are considered a large part of the continued growth and success of Predators starting goalie Juuse Saros, as well as backup Kevin Lankinen and top prospect Yaroslav Askarov.
Vanderklok has been in Nashville for nine seasons, and worked with Rinne during the tail-end of his career, while Barron is the newest face having worked with Vanderklok previously but only making the leap to Nashville this offseason in his new position, primarily overseeing the Milwaukee Admirals goaltenders.
Preds goaltending: elite https://t.co/jLP5FMbpNB
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) October 26, 2023
Lingan detailed the process that goes into making a successful NHLer, starting with scouts finding a player, then the player developing on their own and fit within a system surrounded by the teammates and the right coaching staff. Lingan quotes the trio as “speak[ing] the same language.”
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Around National Hockey Now and the NHL
Boston Hockey Now: The Boston Bruins were upset by the Anaheim Ducks in an OT thriller ending their undefeated start to the season.
Colorado Hockey Now: Another undefeated team chalks up their first in the loss column as the Colorado Avalanche drop their first to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins finally put together all facets of their game and played the way the team felt they should have playing all along. Pittsburgh defeated the juggernaut Colorado Avalanche 4-0 Thursday night.
Philly Hockey Now: The Philadelphia Flyers continue to make roster adjustments, but young center Morgan Frost remains sidelined via coaches decision.
Follow Clay Brewer on Twitter/X: @ClayBrewer10