When the Nashville Predators beat the Wild, 3-0, on Saturday, it wasn’t their big-money goalie who got the shutout. It was the backup, Carter Hutton.
A good number of Preds fans would like to see Hutton get a second straight start tonight against streaking Chicago.
Yes, it’s been a tough season for Pekka Rinne. The 33-year-old is 16-14-7 with a .902 save percentage. Among NHL goalies with at least 20 starts, only Jonathan Bernier (.899) and Mike Smith (.901) have a lower save percentage than Rinne’s.
Predictably, there’s been considerable debate over whether it’s all on Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2014-15, or if the players in front of him bear some responsibility.
Rinne can’t say for sure.
“Obviously it would be probably easier to fix too if it were based on one thing,” he told The Tennessean. “Obviously, overall play is one thing, consistency is one thing. But at the same time, it goes also hand in hand with the team play. As a team and for me personally, haven’t been able to kind of find that really high level of play consistently and I think that’s been missing.”
Preds coach Peter Laviolette has yet to announce his starter for tonight’s game. Hutton is 4-2-1 with a .910 save percentage — not great, either — but he does have the hot hand, which has been a rare commodity for goalies in Nashville this year.