Pekka Rinne, the 35 year old backbone of the Nashville Predators, is red hot, and showing fans that age is just a number.
Pekka Rinne is defying all odds this season. He struggled for parts of last season, but turned into a brick wall during the playoffs. He seemed to find the fountain of youth, as he made ridiculously youthful saves on a regular basis, during the Predators historic run to the Stanley Cup. Many questioned whether or not that success would carry over into Rinne’s 12th NHL season.
It’s safe to say that as of now, the answer is yes.
By the Numbers
This season, Rinne is 14-3-2 in 19 starts. He is 9-0-1 at home this year and has two shutouts.
He is currently boasting a .928 save percentage, the 2nd best of his career, and a 2.29 GAA, his career 3rd best.
He has 13 quality starts, which translates to a quality start average of 68.4%. That’s up from his career average of 57.5%.
He has made 30+ saves in 10 games this season.
When Rinne hasn’t started this season, the Predators are 1-3-1, and give up 3.8 goals per game. When Rinne sits, the Predators struggle. When Rinne plays, the Predators thrive.
Simply put, Rinne is on track for potentially his best NHL season…at 35 years old.
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Rinne has been the cornerstone of the Nashville Predators since 2008, making him one of the longest tenured Predators on roster. He is a quiet leader, who leads by example. He rarely speaks, but his actions speak louder than his words. He has a calm, collected presence, however when he steps in the room, people notice.
He keeps his cool better than most goalies, as he constantly faces a barrage of sticks and bodies in the crease. When he says or does something though, you know he means it.
The other night against Montreal, a Canadiens forward pushed a little too hard, bringing on a rare sign of aggression from Rinne.
If that doesn’t get a team and fan base fired up, I don’t know what will.
The Big Question
Everyone wants to know how Rinne will continue and finish this season though. He is posting historic numbers, especially for a goalie who is 35 years old. History doesn’t back him though, as most goalies don’t even make it to his age.
However, I think Rinne will sustain this success throughout the season. He has a great defense to protect him and his offense is better than it ever has been. He has one of the best supporting casts in hockey, and a fan base that idolizes him. Everyone is in his corner.
On top of that, it just means more to Rinne. He’s made it known that he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, despite only two years left on his contract, and a ticking body clock.
Rinne is staring the end of his career in the face, and he continues to push it away.
Call me crazy, but I think he can sustain this success.
I want to know what you fans think though. Vote here, and let me know your opinion.
Leave a comment, cast your vote.
Rinne is the heart and soul of this Nashville Predators team. The statistics don’t work in his favor, however, he is showing that age is just a number.