Nashville’s Rinne: ‘It’s tough to win when you don’t score goals’

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It wasn’t a full-blown criticism, but Pekka Rinne minced no words in explaining why the Preds have just five wins in their first 11 games.

“It’s tough to win when you don’t score goals,” he told The Tennessean following Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Chicago. “This is the third time in 11 games now that we got shut out.”

Nashville sits dead last in a number of the NHL’s most significant offensive stat categories: goals per game (1.83), shots on goal per game (21.1) and third-period goals (five).

Even worse? The Preds have 22 goals on the year, nine of which came in two games against St. Louis (a 4-3 shootout loss on Jan. 21 and a 6-1 win on Feb. 5).

Taking away the St. Louis games, Nashville has just 13 goals in nine games.

Obviously, that’s not good.

Rinne’s in an awkward position because, as a goalie, it always sounds bad when you get after your teammates for not providing enough offense.

But given his impressive numbers — a 1.92 GAA and .929 save percentage — it’s easy to understand why he’s frustrated about having just four wins to his credit.

“Obviously, my job is to keep the pucks out of our end and our net,” he explained. “It was just one of those nights. [Chicago] created some momentum in the second period. They got the first goal and right after that got the second one, and that was pretty much the game right there.

“But overall, obviously we’ve got to create a little bit more [offense]. We can’t hide behind any excuses like this being a back-to-back game or anything like that.”