Pekka Rinne is getting a rare night off, reports NHL.com. Nashville’s No. 1 goalie will hand off the reins to backup Anders Lindback for tonight’s home game versus the Wild.
We only mention because this isn’t a common occurrence. Rinne’s tied with Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller for most starts (71) in the league — a number Predators coach Barry Trotz admits is higher than originally planned.
“No, I think going into it, I looked at it as more of a 65, probably, as a number going into the season,” Trotz said. “He’s probably best around that number. So it’s a little higher…I think we went into a little bit of a roll right before the All-Star break. We knew the teams in the West are so close and we wanted to get some separation. We rode him hard into the All-Star break.”
Trotz has reason to manage his starter’s minutes before the playoffs start. Rinne’s coming off the worst month of his season, statistically speaking. His March save percentage was a mediocre .902. In 14 starts, he went 7-5-2 and was yanked twice.
The Preds have even called up goalie Chet Pickard from the ECHL to take shots during practice, allowing Rinne to leave early if necessary.
In a related story, the Preds have a goalie named Chet.