It was Monday January, 28. The Nashville Predators were blanked 4-0 by the Phoenix Coyotes. Pekka Rinne wasn’t playing his best hockey and the team was scrambling to find their edge. Rinne hasn’t allowed four goals combined since that game. Three straight wins where he gave up only one goal each led to the Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Kings. He saw a whopping thirty-two shots on goal and stopped them all.
For the Predators, Rinne’s first shutout of the 2013 season couldn’t come at a better time. Where they were scrambling before they now are driving with confidence. It does something to a team and its fans to know that if their goaltender doesn’t stop the shot, it can’t be stopped. That is the level of play that Rinne has elevated himself to at this point. The Preds are now fifth in the NHL’s entire Western Conference with thirteen points and a record of 5-2-3. In the Central Division they trail only the 8-0-2 Chicago Blackhawks.
Their upcoming games might bring a struggle or two and it’s possible of course that Rinne will slip up. It appears he just needed a few games to get things going in the right direction. Right now pucks look like basketballs to Rinne as he is stopping everything in sight and some not in sight. It’s still early but if the Preds can improve a little on defense and keep the opponents shots down, maybe stay out of the penalty box, this could be a very special season for the Nashville Predators