With the 2013 NHL season nearly over, it is time to look back on players who did more than their team’s record showed. The main candidate for this kind of comparison would be the Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne. It was up to him to keep Nashville in a lot of games this season due to injuries and a lack of production overall from the offense. He may have had his struggles late in the season due to an aching left hip, but offseason surgery should have him ready to go when next season begins.
Rinne was just 15-16-8 this season with a 2.43 goals against average. They weren’t his best numbers obviously, especially after having 43 wins the year before, but I think the hip had a lot to do with the problems he was having late in the year. He gave up 13 goals in the last three games he played. It didn’t help matters when the team won just two of their last 12 games.
You can expect that Rinne will be right back to his usual ways next season for the Predators. I’m sure the team will be better, especially with a solid top-defense pairing of Roman Josi and Shea Weber to protect him for most of the game. Obviously, the offense needs to be much better because you don’t win games when you are the second-worst team in the league in goals per game. I think Rinne will be back ,winning 30-35 games during the 2013-14 team, and the Predators will slip into the playoffs again after missing out this year.