They say it is best to admit when one is wrong, and we could not have been more wrong. The Nashville Predators’ starting goalie is proving his worth.
It is never easy to admit you are wrong, but I sit here knowing it must be said. As the Nashville Predators rise in the standings and establish themselves as a true contender, it is clear that many of us – including myself – were wrong.
Dear Pekka Rinne,
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I sit here in amazement of what you are doing on the ice, Pekka Rinne. After watching you play the last few seasons, and also knowing how a body changes when it inches closer to 40, I was one of “those people.” You know, the one who doubted the Predators could be carried on your shoulders for a long period of time. I was, in fact, wrong.
I hope you will forgive us for doubting you. But, let’s be honest. Your stats for the last few seasons have shown a decline. Compounding this is the NHL’s world-class talent whose age is 15 years younger than you. It is only to be expected that aging only impacts one’s ability to play at the highest level.
Unless you are Tom Brady.
Furthermore, the Nashville Predators are a loaded team. You see it every night you are on the ice. Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg are one of the league’s best lines. Now the line with Kevin Fiala, Kyle Turris, and Craig Smith may be the best second line in hockey. Add to this Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, and Mattias Ekholm and you have a great team.
Age and an elite team surrounding you should take pressure off you. And yet, here we are.
I doubt you look at the leaderboards…
..so let me give you a quick summary: You are good. Really good. This season, you are:
Save Percentage: Seventh
Goals Against Average: Seventh
Goals Saved Above Average: Fourth
Goalie Point Share: Seventh
Now, you are the All-Time leader in shutouts for a Finnish goalie.
It is a fact: The Nashville Predators would not be where they are right now if it were not for you. How many games required you to make key saves in the end to earn the win? Too many to count. You have been doing it all season. It is like a clinic on how to play the position.
So, Mr. Rinne, I hope you know that I am sorry….we in Smashville that doubted you are sorry. You can – you have carried this team to victory this season. Thank you for being the ultimate Predator.