Pekka Rinne and Nashville Advance Past Anaheim

In one of the biggest shockers of the playoffs, the so-called experts picked all the favorites to advance to the second round.

Yet, some of us were still brave enough to pick an underdog, and the Nashville Predators have stepped up and won their first playoff series in franchise history to prove that it doesn’t always pay to follow the herd.

Without a doubt, Nashville Predators fans will always remember 2011 Easter Sunday as they saw their team win a statement game in a statement series.

It might come as a surprise that Nashville eliminated the red-hot Anaheim Ducks, but the true surprise of this series was all the scoring. No one expected Anaheim to dominate on the power play the way they did, and it was even more surprising that the Predators lit the lamp game in and game out the way they did.

Every single game in this series went over the Las Vegas total.

Yet, perhaps the most talked-about aspect of this series was the performance of Pekka Rinne. He was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy two days ago and not a single person in the NHL disputed the merits of his nomination, despite the long list of worthy candidates.

In this series, he didn’t have the numbers that he did in the regular season, but if you’ve been around the NHL long enough, you’ll understand that the most important category in the playoffs is wins.

In this column, Rinne has four, and that’s enough to put his team in the second round.

In fact, it’s unlikely that Rinne’s critics even watched most of this series. Even though they had the most famous cheerleader watching the games in Carrie Underwood, the ratings for this series has been poor outside of the regional demographics.

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