Pekka Rinne was Unstoppable
You have to give credit where credit is due, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do tonight for Pekka Rinne. He was quite literally a brick wall, and it was clear early on that he wasn’t going to let anything get passed him tonight. He was sharp and set the tempo for the game. This was his 3rd shutout of the season and 58th of his career.
Rinne has been one of the best goaltenders in the league for many years, but going into tonight’s game, his numbers were not that great so far this season. To say he has struggled would be an understatement. Before his start in this game, he had a 8-4-2 record with a 3.06 GAA and a .889 SV%. Clearly, this is abnormal for a goalie of his caliber.
You can throw all of those number out of the window after this one. He stopped all 31 shots he faced and he made it look easy. It certainly wasn’t easy though, because Carolina had many fantastic opportunities to finally break the ice. One particular moment that stood out to me was a great sequence of saves by Rinne on Jordan Staal, who got two great opportunities on the net minder.
Throughout the long NHL season, you are going to have games where the opposing teams goaltender seems virtually unstoppable. No matter what you do or how well you set up a play, it just seems like they are always one step ahead of you. Unfortunately for Carolina, this was one of those games and Rinne had a fantastic start in the crease.