Pekka Rinne recorded his fifth shutout of the season on Saturday night in St. Louis as the Predators edged the Blues 1-0. Rinne began the season as the backup to Dan Ellis, who Nashville re-signed to a two-year contract this summer. Saturday night is another example of Rinne delivering for Nashville, while having an extremely small margin for error. You can expect Pekka to receive some votes in the Calder Tropy voting, especially if he keeps this up.
Rinne breaking into ranks of NHL’s top rookies
Posted by John Glennon at 2/22/2009 11:01 PM CST
The longer the Predators remain in the Western Conference playoff race, the more likely goalie Pekka Rinne is to emerge as one of the NHL’s top rookies.
He hasn’t gotten the attention yet of players like goalie Steve Mason in Columbus or forwards Kris Versteeg (Chicago), Bobby Ryan (Anaheim), Blake Wheeler (Boston) and Patrik Berglund (St. Louis). But with the exception of Mason, who is the biggest reason the Blue Jackets appear on their way to a first playoff berth, you could certainly make a case that Rinne has been more important to his team than any other rookie.
Following Rinne’s 1-0 shutout win over St. Louis on Saturday, he’s now tied for fourth in the league with a 2.23 goals against average, is sixth in save percentage (.923) and has five shutouts – just two behind the league-leading Mason.
Rinne has also proven a beast in shootouts, stopping nine-of-10 attempts in three victories.
All those numbers become even more important considering the Preds are the lowest-scoring team in the league, meaning that virtually every goal scored against Nashville can be decisive in a game.