McKenna Match of the Day: Feb. 7 – Logan Thompson vs. Juuse Saros

Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna gives his Daily face-to-face Start of the goalkeeper match of the day for Tuesday. February 7, 2023:

Why I love this game:

Thompson and Saros both tanned over the weekend at the NHL All-Star Game in Florida. And now they face off in the regular season.

To monitor :

Two guardians stylistically opposed to each other. Thompson likes to play low and wide, while Saros is more upright and compact. It’s an interesting comparison because Saros presents really big in the net for someone who is only 5ft 11in tall. While Thompson’s height (he’s 6-foot-4) is most noticeable when he reaches or slides into the stops.

What Golden Knights and Predators goalies have in common is explosiveness. Saros is one of the best goalie skaters in the NHL. He regularly bats passes to his edges, which helps him track the puck. Thompson, on the other hand, likes to slide. And this is partly due to the necessity stemming from its natural width. But the speed is noticeable with every goalkeeper.

Thompson has just one win in his last seven starts for Vegas. But he has been exceptional in his last two outings: two overtime losses against the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders. Saros comes into tonight’s game having won three straight games. The Predators goaltender has been one of the busiest in the NHL: Saros rarely faces fewer than 30 shots.

What fantasy owners should do:

Wins have been hard to come by for Thompson’s fantastic owners. And it’s been a mixed bag for saves. Nashville is hard to predict: I would seriously consider sitting Thompson if there is a better option. Saros has been performing very well all season, although there have been a few hiccups lately. Anyway, I would start Saros.

Conclusion for Logan Thompson:

His body language has at times been disturbing. This must change.

Conclusion for Juuse Saros:

Nashville’s chance of making the Stanley Cup playoffs rests entirely on his shoulders.

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