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The Eye Test: I Take Full Responsibility for Carter Hutton's Success

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Since an unfortunate event on October 17th, 2015, Carter Hutton has started playing much better, recently earning a shutout against Minnesota. Below, we shall go into detail how I was THE motivating factor for Carter Hutton to step up and start acting more like a brick wall...and all it took was a little Hate-orade.

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So far this year Carter Hutton has played significantly better, sometimes more so than his starting counterpart Pekka Rinne. For whatever reasons, possibly the personal dilemma over the summer or maybe age finally catching up to him, Pekka Rinne has been extremely un-Pekka-like this year. Many on these boards have expressed their disapproval but it's personal for many fans since Rinne is such a beloved player of the Nashville Predators faithful. I haven't seen many dogging Rinne so much as lamenting deep concern as to what is wrong and how Rinne can get back into game form. The simple answer is....rest.

Rather than allow Rinne to get that extra rest and get his head on straight, the Predators and Coach Peter Laviolette decided to start a struggling goalie against a top team in the NHL last night. What was the result? Of course...it was a loss and Rinne has now given up 3+ goals in eight out of his last nine starts.

Carter Hutton has shined in the few starts he has had this season going 4-2-1 with a GAA of 2.55 and a SV% of .910. Now the underlying numbers aren't great, but the team is winning with him on the ice. Whether this is a product of trust in Hutton or lack thereof for Rinne, the team is playing better in front of him. Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild was a great example of Hutton's play when he is in the zone. He faced down all 29 SOG, some being point blank chances that Predator fans usually groan after the rubber is seen in the back of the twine.

I was among them for a while. On that fateful day, October 17th 2015, the Predators' official Twitter account posted that Carter Hutton was getting his first start of the season against Ottawa...and what followed was my response. (Obviously, I should have left off Hutton's Twitter handle...but oh well)

Hutton went on to win that game against Ottawa posting an impressive .927 SV%. I'll fully admit that I was happily eating crow that night. When I checked my phone the next morning, I had an alert from Twitter and I opened it to find this...

Yep, I got blocked by Carter Hutton. Not my proudest moment, but I didn't think I crossed a huge line with my simple comment and smirking emoticon. I was going to post something back to him applauding him for a great game and making me look like an ass...but alas, it would not be seen by him.

I'm glad he has turned it on and is (hopefully) earning more starts while Rinne gets his game ironed out. The rest for Rinne is very much needed, especially if the Predators qualify for the playoffs lest we have a repeat of last year...but let's not think on that. Carter Hutton threw my worry about him starting and my smug little emoticon and in a physical display of goaltending prowess told me to "suck it". And if his play continues to escalate the Predators back into the playoff hunt, I will continue to take full responsibility for pouring my Hate-orade over the situation cause Hater's Gonna Hate. *chuckle*