The 2012-13 lockout shortened season as a whole was disappointing for the Nashville Predators. It’s time to hand out the grades for each individual player. Today, we start with the goaltenders…
Mason’s first two starts of the season both came against the Minnesota Wild, and it looked like he was poised to have a good season for the Predators in net. Things just simply went downhill from there. After starting the season with a 1-0-1 record, Mason finished the season with a 1-7-1 record. He finished with a dismal .873 save percentage and a 3.73 GAA. There were times when the team didn’t play well defensively in front of Mason, and there were also times when he simply let in pucks that should have been stopped. The condensed 48-game schedule did not play into Mason’s favor.
One of the things that made it hard for Mason in 2012-13 was that he went long periods of time in between starts for the majority of the season. Mason’s third start of the season came on Feb. 18 against the Colorado Avalanche. He didn’t start his fourth game until Apr. 12 against Dallas. That’s almost two months in between starts. Mason did see some action in relief in between those starts, but it’s hard to develop a rhythm as a goaltender without playing in a game situation. Overall, it was a disappointing season for Mason.
Rinne did not play at the Vezina Trophy type level that he had for the two previous seasons for a variety of different reasons. The defense didn’t play well at times, and it was announced after the season that Rinne had been battling a hip injury all season long. It’s hard to say just how much that made an impact on him. Rinne finished the season with a 15-16-8 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA. He also played in 43 of the 48 games.
Rinne did not have a bad season. Sure, looking solely at the wins and losses would lead one to think he had a rough season. The fact of the matter is that there were games where Rinne either stole the win from the jaws of defeat or he was the only reason the Predators had a fighting chance in the game. There were times where he didn’t make saves that he normally has made throughout the course of his career. However, there was another time when he had three shutouts in a four-game span in February. One huge thing that plagued Nashville all season long was the lack of consistency, and that had a bit of an effect on Rinne as well.