This afternoon, the Nashville Predators ended their Olympic break with their first practice in 10 days, and they were joined by goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Out of game action since October, Nashville’s netminder first showed signs of recovery when he participated in a few drills just before the Olympic break.
— Predlines.com (@PredlinesNSH) February 7, 2014
On that particular day, the Predators were not holding a full-team practice, and Rinne faced 10-15 shots from the handful of Nashville players present before exiting the ice about 20 minutes later.
Rinne’s participation today was more involved and prolonged, however.
Rinne skated for about an hour… Looked quite tired by the end
— JoshuaCooper (@JoshuaCooper) February 19, 2014
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Rinne is the difference maker in whether or not the Predators make a run at the playoffs. So today’s news has to be seen as encouraging.
But there’s no reason to get carried away either. The goaltender’s involvement today still shouldn’t be classified as “full” and the team still maintains there is no timetable for his return.
On the bright side, Rinne did more today than he did a week and a half ago, so at least some evidence exists that he has taken another step forward in the recovery process.