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Rinne and Shootouts: From Elation to Depression


AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Rinne and shootouts….it is a hot button topic and one Predators fans are all too grumpy about this afternoon. The Predators dropped another in a shootout to the St. Louis Blues Thursday night thus allowing a team they are trying to catch an extra point in the standings.

Truthfully, the Predators with Rinne in net have lost the last three games to go into a shootout (Feb.11 Boston; Feb.7 Vancouver). Beforehand, Pekka had won the last three SO in December and dropped one to the Devils in October.

But alas, Predator fans, all is not lost and the parity of the shootout affects all teams, not just the inPekkable Rinne.

Rinne’s record is 3-4 in shootouts this year. He has faced 24 shots and stopped 16 allowing 8 goals. In the shootout losses, Rinne let in 2 goals every time. In the wins, of course, he let in zero. This would put Rinne’s GAA for shootouts at 1.14 and a Save Percentage of .667.

For comparison sake, here are some of the leaders in shootout wins and others who have been in 7 shootouts like Rinne:

Marc-Andre Fluery – 9 Shootouts, 7 Wins, 1.28 GAA, .788 SV%

Semyon Varlamov – 6 Shootouts, 6 Wins, .33 GAA, .895 SV%

Johan Hedberg – 7 Shootouts, 5 Wins. 1.00 GAA, .650 SV%

Antii Niemi – 7 Shootouts, 5 Wins, 1.00 GAA, .720 SV%

Pekka Rinne – 7 Shootouts, 3 Wins, 1.14 GAA, .667 SV%

Miikka Kiprusoff – 7 Shootouts, 3 Wins, 1.28 GAA, .640 SV%

Jaroslav Halak – 7 Shootouts, 2 Wins, .85 GAA, .714 SV%

Given the highlighted netminders, sometimes the success of a goaltender in shootout victories is goal support. Rinne has not received a ton of goal support in many of the shootouts with the Predators usually scoring once in the shootout for the win.

Take a look at Halak, the nemesis for the Predators in Thursday night’s game. Halak has unbelievable numbers for GAA and SV% but only has 2 wins in 7 shootouts because St. Louis has not been able to put the puck past the opposing goaltender.

Even the shootout win leader, Marc-Andre Fleury has numbers just above Rinne and worse than Halak, yet Fleury has won 7 out of 9 shootouts. Why? Look down the Penguins shootout roster and it’s a who’s who of puck-burying forwards.

This is more evidence that Nashville needs to add a top six scorer before the trade deadline. Legwand has decent success in this department although he uses the same move over and over. Teams seem to have figured out Erat and Wilson is strong on the puck with screens in front but is not money on the one-on-one with the goalie. One would need all his fingers and toes to count the number of breakaway chances Nashville has had this season and not capitalized. A proven scorer, especially one with speed and breakaway abilities could change the leverage of these last 21 games when it comes to shootout victory or defeat.

So before any and all ire is directed at Pekka Rinne for his recent run of shootout woes, it would be best to take a look at the entire body of work. Namely that Pekka Rinne is as of this writing in the NHL:

1st in Wins

2nd in Games Played

2nd in Shots Against

2nd in Saves

2nd in Minutes Played

6th in Shutouts

6th in Goals Allowed

Should the Predators make a move for Dustin Brown to fit this bill? Another scorer? Make your case to agree or disagree in the comments below.

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Stay HardCore…