Heading into this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs there weren’t many hockey analysts touting Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. Sure the big Finn had at one time been a marquee goaltender, but his play in the last three seasons had dipped and it was thought that the 34 year-old Rinne was on the decline. Now though, Rinne’s incredible run to the Stanley Cup Final and his postseason .941 Sv% and 1.70 GAA has reversed the narrative completely.
Rinne has been inarguably the best goaltender in this season’s playoffs as is evidenced by his statistics. But, stats aside, just look to last night’s game 6 victory in which his team was badly outshot and outplayed for much of the game, but still somehow managed a 6-3 victory to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Good goalies find a way to steal wins for their team, despite a mountain of excuses.
Still, there were cries from the Preds fanbase for Rinne to concede the crease to 22 year-old Juuse Saros this season. Saros is a good prospect indeed, but this postseason Rinne has proven that the crease is still his in Music City. Seemingly washed up, now he’s just four wins away from winning the Stanley Cup.
“Amazing feeling, obviously. It’s a dream come true,” said Rinne. “But it’s a funny thing, though. When this is happening around us, you still feel hungry, and now we have a chance to play for the Cup. It’s a pretty amazing feeling. And you’ve been working for that for a long, long time,” he said.