* Denotes 5v5 score adjusted play.
After last year was lost due to hip surgery and a subsequent infection, Pekka Rinne was on a mission to prove he could get back to his Vezina-caliber play. Propelled by being named MVP for the 2014 IIH World Championships, he entered training camp as possibly the best-conditioned athlete on the team. With a new coach and a new offensively oriented system, Rinne was ready to return to form.
That's exactly what he did. For almost the first four months of the season, Rinne was the best goaltender in the league and was a driving factor in the Predators' return to the postseason. The overall team play certainly helped, but having a save percentage close to .940 for a while shouldn't be overlooked. The Finnish netminder got his groove back, so to speak, and became Peter Laviolette's workhorse, appearing in 64 of 82 games.
Unfortunately, with the good also comes the bad. His brick wall imitation earned him his first-ever nod to the All-Star Game, but an unfortunate injury kept him from going. He spent the next few weeks on the shelf, and never really regained his early season bravado. Like the rest of the team, the last quarter of the season was something to forget. To be fair, Super Rinne wasn't going to be around forever, and Nashville's shooters were pretty fortunate early.
Still, despite the lackluster finish, Rinne's resurgence and importance to the team cannot be overstated. He earned his third Vezina nomination and quelled any talk that he wouldn't be the same player after sitting out for most of a season.
Pull up a chair, ladies and gents...
He also broke our Vine account on a number of occasions...
The Road Ahead
Rinne is signed through 2019, and with Marek Mazanec or Magnus Hellberg waiting to replace Carter Hutton after next year, and Juuse Saros still not having set foot on North American ice, there is no question on who the starter is going to be.
His age is going to be come a factor sooner than later, but if he can perform anywhere close to his career numbers over the next few years, Nashville will have nothing to worry about between the pipes.
Early this season, Braden nicknamed him "Mongoose" due to his fast reflexes. (It didn't stick... sorry, man.)
This season, Rinne has proven to be a silverback gorilla. Very large and extremely formidable, it's also very protective and few things dare sneak anything past it.
Average OTF Grade: A
AdSv% - Adjusted Save Percentage
Sv%L - Save percentage on Low Danger shots
Sv%M - Save percentage on Medium Danger shots
Sv%H - Save percentage on High Danger shots
QS% - Quality Start Percent (~53% is league average)
RBS - Really Bad Starts (Starts with a Sv% below .850)
GSAA - Goals Saved Above Average (Goals goalie prevented given Sv% and shots faced vs. league average Sv% on same number of shots)
GPS - Goalie Point Share (Estimate of the amount of points a goalie's play contributed to his team)