While the Nashville Predators don’t seem to have any problems in net with Carter Hutton performing well, their usual starting goaltender is taking a step closer to making his way back to the team.
Pekka Rinne has gotten back on the ice for the first time since he injured his hip on October 22nd. For a goalie of Rinne’s status, I’m sure that being out of the game this long must be frustrating. Not only has he missed so long of the NHL season, he will also miss out on the Olympics starting in the next week.
Head coach Barry Trotz said this about Rinne’s return to the ice.
“He’s working out and he’s been allowed to go on the ice… He really hasn’t done much on the ice. But he’s starting to move around in terms of skating and getting the muscle memory of moving around on the ice. It hasn’t been too punishing or anything like that.
“But it’s not going to be a quick process. They’re doing it very methodically and cautiously. This is for the long term.”
So obviously he won’t be returning to game-action anytime soon. As long as Hutton and Devan Dubnyk keep the Predators in the playoff race, the Predators don’t need to rush Rinne. Although, if they do make the playoffs, they will need his experience.
A goalie of Rinne’s status can turn the tide for any team. For a team to go such a long time without that type of goalie knowing they have one waiting to return. The Predators have to be anxious about his return.
The Nashville Predators have survived a long time without their No. 1 goalie. Once he returns, they should stand a greater chance of returning to the playoffs after missing them last season. There will be a lot of pressure on Rinne, because if the Predators miss again, there should be big changes in line.