It's news we didn't want to hear, but it could have been much worse.
While he's going to miss the All-Star Game, it affords Rinne plenty of time to rest before Nashville's extremely busy February schedule kicks in. With the break coming up and a light schedule to end the month, there really wasn't a better time for Rinne to rest up. The news was also followed by the announcement that Marek Mazanec was recalled from AHL Milwaukee. It will be Mazanec's first action this year, after playing 25 games last year. He and Carter Hutton will split the netminding duties for right now. Nashville is still one of the best possession teams in the league and, even though Minnesota is a prime example of what happens when good teams get bad goaltending, they at least have a bit of a points buffer to work with. A few games without Rinne will not cost them everything, especially if Hutton and Mazanec play well. From the Preds:
During the third period of the Nashville Predators 5-1 victory on Tuesday night, goaltender Pekka Rinne sustained a sprained knee which will cause him to miss the next three games and All-Star Weekend, the club announced Thursday. Rinne’s status will be re-evaluated and updated after the NHL All-Star Break. Rinne was injured in a collision at the 2:55-mark of the third period against Vancouver. Goaltender Carter Hutton stopped all 10 shots he faced in the final 17:05 of the win.
Nashville, Tenn. (January 15, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the club has recalled goaltender Marek Mazanec (MAIR-ehk muh-ZAN-ehk) from Milwaukee (AHL). Mazanec, 23 (7/18/91), has gone 4-0-2 in his last six AHL starts and joins Nashville riding a three-game win streak which has seen him stop 61-of-64 shots (.953 save percentage, 0.99 goals-against average). In his last start for the Admirals prior to the recall, he stopped all 27 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory at Rockford on Friday, moving him into a tie for fourth in League shutouts (3). On the season, the Pisek, Czech Republic, native is 11-8-3 with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. Nashville's ninth choice, 179th overall (sixth round), in the 2012 Entry Draft, played the fifth-most minutes of any rookie NHL netminder (1,369:32) in 2013-14, appearing in 25 contests for the Predators and being named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November 2013 after going 5-4-1 with two shutouts, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. The 6-4, 194-pound Mazanec also ranked second among AHL rookie goaltenders, and 10th overall, in point percentage after posting an 18-10-3 record (.629, min. 700 minutes) in 2013-14. He will become just the fourth right-catching netminder at the NHL level this season, joining Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson, Calgary’s Jonas Hiller and Philadelphia’s Steve Mason.
Per the team, Rinne is expected to miss 3-5 weeks.