Predators: Pekka Rinne Should Be a Lock to Win “Goal of the Year” Award

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 09: Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators Viktor Arvidsson #33 Predators (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 09: Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators Viktor Arvidsson #33 Predators (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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To help satisfy that hockey itch that we all have as fans right now during the pause, the NHL has announced their 2020 NHL Fan Choice Awards to open.

The NHL Fan Choice Awards are annually done to give fans a chance to connect with their favorite teams and players, and we can all use some of that right now during the NHL’s pause and no clear end in sight.

These awards will give fans the opportunity to vote for some pretty fun and humorous categories, and one that stands out as it pertains to the Nashville Predators is Pekka Rinne‘s goaltender goal that was scored back in January against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Even opposing fans who despise the Predators will have a hard time leaving their bias aside and not voting for Rinne’s goal. It’s not just that he scored, but how he scored it and the aftermath with his teammates embracing him.

It will always be an all-time great moment for the Nashville Predators franchise, hopefully only to eventually trail wining a Stanley Cup one day.

Other nominees in the “Best Goal” category are your more traditional superstar goal scorers in Connor McDavid, Matthew Tkachuk and Andrei Svechnikov.

McDavid, who is widely considered the best player in the world, will be tough to beat. He has an enormous amount of loyal fans (363,000 Twitter followers) and many will vote for him just based on his stature of being the best.

Not to mention McDavid’s goal that’s up for the award was pretty filthy and one we’ve come accustomed to seeing from him regularly.

Tkachuk’s goal came against the Predators, and it’s impressive, but nowhere near on the level of a goaltender goal or McDavid’s goal. Sames goes for Svechnikov’s goal. Just not as rare or high in difficulty as McDavid’s goal or Rinne’s goal.

But how can you deny the rare goaltender goal from Rinne as being the “Goal of the Year”? And it’s how he scored it as well that makes a big difference. The way he lined it up and launched it over center ice above every player’s head to sink the goal in dead-eye fashion makes this an obvious and easy choice for “Goal of the Year”.

Here’s another look at Rinne’s goal courtesy of NHL.com, which was the first of his career and second in Predators history:

My suspicion is that McDavid will probably win the award, but it really should be Rinne’s to win if everyone puts their biases aside. You have to go with the super rare goaltender goal that wasn’t just a fluke, but actually had a high degree of difficulty.

Other awards that the Nashville Predators could win are “Best NHL Building” with Bridgestone Arena, “Best Mascot”  with Gnash and “Best Team Dog” with Smash.

And yes, if we win any of these categories we are going to hang banners for it so don’t even ask. We embrace the banner jokes and can’t wait to hang more.

Another travesty will be if David Ayers doesn’t win “Best Feel-Good Moment” as he came in and recorded the win as an emergency backup goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes. That category should be a landslide.

Voting is open to fans until June 1st and you can vote here. Also be sure to tune in June 3rd to watch the winners announced through social media streams.