Pekka Rinne had a rough 2013-14 for the Nashville Predators and that might be putting things lightly. Rinne needed surgery on his hip and then missed additional time after he needed another operation to remove a bacterial infection on the same hip. When Rinne returned, it was clear he was rusty and far from his usual reliable self.
If the 2014 World Championship is any indication, Predators fans should feel relieved. Though Rinne’s country of Finland finished second in the tournament after falling to Russia 5-2 in the gold medal game, Rinne was named the tournament’s MVP and was named to the media’s All-Star Team of the tournament.
Rinne earned the honors after leading the tournament in shutouts (three) and saves (220). His save percentage took a bit of a beating in the gold medal game, but Rinne still posted a respectable 92.83 mark.
Though there’s still a lot of time before 2014-15 begins, Predators fans should be thrilled to see their netminder is back to normal. The tournament is a fairly limited sample, but it more closely resembles the Rinne we all know than his rather ugly 2013-14 (2.77 GAA, .902 SV%). Rinne appears to have put all of his injury woes and recent struggles behind him and should be ready for a big rebound in 2014-15.