Just because he’s the only goaltending on this list shouldn’t mean Pekka Rinne should be a bit lonely among the realms of All Star Game snubs, since, believe us, he’s not without a world of fans of his own. But perhaps Rinne may be a bit alone in some ways, for he’s in a class of his own when it comes to players truly worthy of a first-time All Star Game showing in 2012.
Rinne was one of the three final candidates for the Vezina Trophy (Goalie of the Year) this past spring and was no undeserving finalist; he was able to earn a .930 save percentage, second among starting netminders, a 2.12 goals-against average (GAA), ranking third out of goalies with more than 20 starts, and a quite respectable 33-22-9 record all the while missing over three weeks with a knee injury halfway through the season.
Plus, if you think Joe Pavelski’s past as a seventh round draft pick is inspiring, consider the fact that Rinne was actually chosen in a stage of the draft that doesn’t even exist anymore – the eighth round! Since then, the 28-year-old has gone on to accumulate a 95-54-38 career record and 2.33 all-time GAA; some impressive numbers for a more-than-long-shot player at the time of selection.
Rinne was one of the oddest and most shocking ommissions from the 2011 All Star Game in Raleigh, but it’s hard to concieve that he’ll miss out again next January if he can stay healthy and continue to play at the echelon that he has over the past three seasons.