In the postseason exit interviews conducted a little over three weeks ago, Pekka Rinne mentioned to reporters that he wasn’t looking past the next two seasons in terms of his future with the franchise. It’s pretty evident now that unless something unimaginable happens Pekka Rinne will be a Predator for life. He will retire in gold and his jersey might be the very first to hang in Bridgestone Arena. However, can the Predators play for #35’s long-awaited Stanley Cup?
This postseason was a disaster. There’s really no other way to put it. More mathematically-inclined writers will be able to put into context exactly what went wrong for Nashville against Dallas. The offense didn’t show up except in the form of undersized Rocco Grimaldi. The star blueliners seemed like a shadow of themselves. The only constant, as it’s been all season, was the man in net for Nashville.
Aside from a Game 4 debacle, Rinne showed up for the Predators in the first round when they didn’t show up for him. We knew the series would be tight against Dallas. Ben Bishop put on a show in Dallas’s net, posting an incredible .979 Sv% in Dallas’s Game 6 overtime victory. Nashville simply didn’t do enough to expose Bishop’s weaknesses, but that’s a conversation for another day.
The reality is that with few exceptions, Pekka Rinne continues to provide the Nashville Predators with solid, reliable goaltending, even in the face of harsh criticism from those who feel that the 36-year old Finn is not the solution. Let’s be clear: Rinne is part of the answer and not part of the problem. He remains in top shape. How many 36-year-old beer league goalies can stretch and flex the way Rinne does? None.