Nashville Predators: February Awards For Predators

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Most Valuable Predator: Pekka Rinne

I feel like we’re past the days where we worry about Pekka Rinne playing too much. The Nashville Predators’ top goalie is 14-2-1 since the calendar turned to 2018. He had a couple of rough games this month, but even his non-shutouts are impressive. He gave up two goals to Montreal, but stopped forty-seven shots, including ten in overtime. It was an exhibition of goaltending the likes of which I haven’t seen.

The push for Rinne to be considered for the Venzia Trophy is in full swing. From where I sit, the top two candidates have to be Rinne and Andrei Vailevskiy. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the only squad with more points than the Predators at the moment, and Vasilevsky is one of the main reasons why. Vasilevskiy has appeared in six more games than Rinne. Here’s how they stack up at the end of February:

Rinne: 33-9-4, .927 SV%, 2.33 GAA, 6 shutouts
Vasilevskiy: 37-12-2, .927 SV%, 2.35 GAA, 7 shutouts

I’d give Rinne the edge, but I’m admittedly biased. It’ll probably come down to which team finishes with more points. There’s also a good chance that Frederik Andersen wins it because he’s having a great season and plays in Toronto.

Next: Five Takeaways from Predators win over the Jets

I feel safe in saying that Rinne feels that earning individual hardware is secondary to the Nashville Predators’ main goal: winning a Stanley Cup. They took a big step in that direction in February, but there’s a lot of work left to do. Rinne will pull his weight and then some.