In an interview with the Finnish site Kaleva.fi, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne discussed the frustration over his team's second-round exit from the playoffs, how much the whole Alexander Radulov/Andrei Kostitsyn affair affected the Preds, and which member of the Finnish national team he's keeping an eye on as they move on to the semifinals of the IIHF World Championships tomorrow vs. Russia.
Follow on for a translation of the article, as Google Translate just really doesn't do justice to this one!
Thanks to Teemu Hytönen of Broad Street Hockey for the following translation:
Rinne says he's still disappointed over the playoff loss vs Phoenix.
"I'm so disappointed that it feels painful. I guess it gets better over time."
While still disappointed, Rinne says he doesn't need a mental break from hockey. He says he's been watching the World Championships.
"Hockey is such a big part of my life anyway, that watching the World Championships is alright. At the sametime I get a break from thinking about our team having had the chance to go all the way this year."
Rinne finds reasons for the playoff loss.
"We started thinking too highly of ourselves after the Detroit series that went so well. We couldn't keep our feet on the ground and everything fell apart. We panicked when we lost two away games."
Rinne says what happened with Radulov and Kostitsyn in the playoffs didn't have a big impact on the team.
"It didn't affect as much as media made it seem like. The way I see it, Radulov joining the team mid-season affected the atmosphere more than the incident that happened in the playoffs."
"I don't have bad things to say about Radulov as a person. It's actually the opposite, I like him as a person. He's a big and colorful character."
Rinne says he was ready to go to the World Championships.
"Of course I would've liked to go to the World Championships at home. But my games here ended at the worst possible time. I knew it beforehand that they wouldn't add any players [to WC roster] after the first playoff round."
Pekka's twin sister Anna is married with Finland's WC forward Mika Pyörälä.
"I've given Mika some hard time, but also support via text messages."
"I do have a lot of friends in the WC team. Especially all of the Oulu based players get my support. I hope they do well because the tournament is the best possible chance to showcase your talent in Europe."
Pekka and his wife fly to Oulu on Sunday, same day as WC final.
"I'll have the game taped and watch Finland win it all when I'm back home, relaxing."