Pekka Rinne’s a name that may or may not stand out in your hockey roster database. If it doesn’t, it should. With a solid fan base and an easy going off ice demeanor it might be hard to believe at first glance that Rinne is a Finnish goaltending machine.
Rinne was a member of the goaltending elite last season as a Vezina nominee and with the numbers he’s been posting so far this season he’s right on track for another nomination.. Despite Rinne’s last start resulting in a 4-3 loss to Ottawa on February 9th, 2012; he had since been on an 11-game win streak. Not only was the win streak a franchise record, but it matches the longest single season win streak by an NHL goaltender in the last 13 years.
Of course Nashville’s recent success isn’t all on the pads of the Finnish goalie; the recent play by All Star participants Craig Smith and the red hot defensive pairing of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are key factors for the Predators.
After suffering a few significant losses as of late the Predators and Rinne aren’t exactly the team you’d like to go up against to get the gears moving towards a win. The statistics weren’t a concern for Bruins Coach Claude Julien:
“Goaltenders are goaltenders, they all give up a bounce on loose pucks, and we’ve got to be ready to pounce on those.”
Pounce they did. The Bruins won 4-3 in a shootout to take a much needed win.
Although the final wasn’t in Nashville’s favor, it’s important to point out the aforementioned statistics of Rinne. For all intensive purposes he was yet again, a machine in goal for the Predators. If his style of play remains consistent, it wouldn’t be surprising if Rinne were to make another trip to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards this season.
Here’s post game video from Rinne and an interview done with him at the 2011 NHL Awards last season; where he talks a little bit about life off the ice.