Goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators looks on during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
(March 29, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Likely no rest coming for workhorse Rinne


The condensed schedule hasn’t encouraged Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz to spread out the team’s goaltending duties this season.

He’s asked netminder Pekka Rinne to start in 35 — and play in 36 — of Nashville’s 38 games so far this season. Now Trotz is implying that Rinne might start in all 10 of the Predators’ remaining games, according to the Tennessean.

“Right now we don’t have any wiggle room, so you have to go with your best. We had a plan way back when we started that (today’s) game would be (backup Chris) Mason, but things change,” Trotz said. “Right now we have to go with our best, and Peks is our best.”

If Rinne ends up playing in 46 of 48 games, it would likely be the most of any goaltender this season. The only netminder in a position to match that total would be Philadelphia’s Ilya Bryzgalov, but Bryzgalov is likely to get a breather at some point after the Flyers acquired Steve Mason on Wednesday.

It’s worth noting that Rinne also played in 22 KHL contests during the lockout, so he could end up playing in 68 games between the two leagues. That total is not out of the ordinary for him, although between the work stoppage and compacted NHL schedule, this has obviously been an unusual hockey season.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
Leave a comment

As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
Leave a comment

Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.