By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators announced Sunday afternoon that Mark Dekanich was reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. Dekanich was recalled to Nashville after the season opener October 9th when the Predators starting goaltender, Pekka Rinne, had to leave the ice less than three minutes into the third period with a lower body injury after a collision in net.
When the Predators took to the ice for their second game of the season in Chicago, Nashville dressed two rookie goaltenders.
Anders Lindback, replaced the injured Rinne. Lindback won the job to be Nashville’s backup out of training camp, having never before played a game in North America. Last season, Lindback played in the Swedish Elite League, accumulating a 2.46 goals against average and .913 save percentage in 42 games.
After three starts for Nashville, the 22 year old Swede has a 2-0-1 record and stopped 93 of the 101 shots faced.
The schedule was a fierce one as the Predators played 3 games in 4 nights, all Lindback starts. When asked about playing so much so fast, Lindback said he actually felt pretty good and complimented Nashville’s training staff on their work.
When the team won, Lindback was first to credit his teammates. “The team is doing a great job in front of me. I feel really comfortable with those guys in front of me,” Lindback said after the Predators won against St. Louis, adding, “I’m just having fun and really like the guys here. It’s a great team and I’m just enjoying it.”
After the overtime loss to Washington, Lindback said of his first NHL loss “Of course I’m a bit disappointed the way the game turned out. We got a little bad luck with the penalties too but that’s the game. You just play it. I don’t know what to say. It feels hard right now.”
Lindback, so eager to credit to everyone else for the success of the team, was tough on himself when losing saying “just one more save and I think we have the game.”
With Rinne out, Lindback played back to back games against Central Division rivals, including the Stanley Cup champions, winning both games, as well as the praise and appreciation of the Predators fan base, not to mention head coach Barry Trotz.
Trotz said even though Lindback might say he wants that first goal back, “he had a couple guys baring down on him named Ovechkin and Semin. They don’t miss too often. They can release the puck as good as anybody.” Trotz added that “I thought he played really well. He played under control. He was real good. He wasn’t the reason we didn’t get two points, that’s for sure.”
With Rinne healthy, Lindback returns to the backup position. But now, the uncertainty that was there when the puck dropped on the season about whether Lindback was ready for a career in the NHL is gone. Lindback has proven he can play with the best the NHL has to offer, making the Predators Rinne-Lindback tandem one of the best in the league.
The Predators play next on Tuesday night when the Calgary Flames visit Bridgestone Arena. Game time is 7 pm. Tickets are still available.
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Use code word Preds.
Predators upcoming home games include Tuesday when the Calgary Flames are in town and Thursday when Canada’s national treasure, Sidney Crosby, and the Pittsburgh Penguins makes their one visit to Smashville this year.