Trotz: Rinne was playing hurt all year

4 Comments

Pekka Rinne has been a solid netminder on a bad team this season. At the same time, he took a step backwards after being nominated for the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12.

On Saturday, Predators coach Barry Trotz offered an explanation for Rinne’s decline in 2013 while reporting that Chris Mason will make his second consecutive start.

“He’s had a bit of a nagging thing all year. It just needs to settle down a little bit, and a little bit of reset too. There’s no sense to risk anything,” Trotz told The Tennessean. “We’re going to have some exit meetings. Pekka has to get away and heal a little bit and then we’ll start that process. You need a little time away for a second here.

“He needs to get healthy and then we’ll start that process.”

Injured or not, Rinne is trying to view this season as a learning experience.

“I’m just trying to figure out what you can do better and how you can be more helpful,” Rinne said.

He’s only been credited with 15 wins in 43 games this season, but the Predators have been one of the worst teams offensively in 2013.

“All year, we let him down all year,” Predators captain Shea Weber recently said of Rinne.

The silver lining is that the Predators do have a number of talented youngsters that could take a step forward next season. They also have a fair amount of cap space, should they wish to do something bold over the summer.