The Winnipeg Jets – Nashville Predators series boasts a bucket of great potential storylines; that’s what happens when two titans clash in the second round. One of the more fascinating ones involves a battle of two Vezina Trophy finalists in Connor Hellebuyck and Pekka Rinne.
Through the first 40 minutes of Game 1, it was a one-sided battle.
Despite a torrent of shots from the Predators, Hellebuyck kept Nashville off the board for the first two periods of the contest. Rinne wasn’t nearly as lucky, allowing three goals on just 16 shots and seeing his night end early.
While Mark Scheifele‘s sneaky release tends to befuddle most goalies, the third tally was likely the last straw:
Simply put, Hellebuyck was standing on his head while Rinne wasn’t making those key saves for the Predators. When the third period began, Peter Laviolette decided to give Rinne the hook in favor of Juuse Saros.
Despite a great season and mostly strong work in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Rinne’s had his low moments in the NHL (as, honestly, most goalies not named Henrik Lundqvist tend to suffer if they get to hang around long enough). This seems to just be one of those nights for the Vezina frontrunner.
The Predators broke Hellebuyck’s shutout streak about 90 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1, so there’s some hope for a big comeback. Click here to stream Game 1 live.