Well with the way that Ellis played in the first period of the last game I wouldn't be surprised at all. He's been really inconsistent so far this year and it might serve him well to sit a game or two every now and then after a bad start to kind of re-motivate him. Give him something to think about. The preds will have no chance of making the playoffs this year if one of these two goalies doesn't start to put together a good season. Every time I think that Ellis is starting to heat up he lets me down. Not that Rinne has had a good start because he hasn't but he's still green and a little playing time would benefit both goalies I think...Why not?
I don't think Ellis' play has gotten to the point where it's costing us games yet... when it gets to that point, Rinne can take the starting job with the unquestioned loyalty of the coaching staff, the GM, and the fan base.
Until then, Rinne and Ellis will likely be platooned so long as Rinne continues to play well, like he did against Atlanta and Buffalo; however, if he has more games like his debut against Columbus and the game against Calgary, Ellis may entrench himself in that #1 position over the course of the season.
Ellis will still be the starter by the end of the year IMO. This is nothing like the Ellis/Mason tandem of last year. At most they will split time, but Rinne is not quite there yet to take over as #1. (But at this point in the season, any answer is just a wild guess.)
After typing this out I took a look at their stats. Rinne has better numbers, although he's been pulled twice, while Ellis has not been pulled. Rinne could really be considered 4-2, not 4-0 since he got pulled twice but the game losing goal was scored against Ellis. It's really hard to falter a goalie who has to come into a game cold.
Rinne hasn't been challenged enough. His wins have come from Buf, Atl, Fla, and Edm... not exactly wins to brag about (Buf was a good win).
Goaltending GP GS W L OTL GAA SV% SO
Dan Ellis 20 18 8 10 2 3.06 .893 1
Pekka Rinne 6 6 4 0 0 2.78 .898 1
Nothing too impressive there that warrants sitting one over the other. Ellis has won games for us (e.g. SJ), while Rinne just hasn't been challenged enough.