The Pekka Problem
by James Pendergraft
Going into last season there were a lot of questions surrounding Pekka and how many years he has left of solid playoff shape hockey. His 2015/2016 campaign wasn’t quite as good as his 14/15 campaign winning 41 of his 64 games played. He has seemed to win fewer and fewer games over the past 2 seasons even though he had a huge part in the Predators’ most recent playoff run. The question still looms, will Pekka Rinne be able to win enough games this season to get the Preds back to the playoffs?
If Pekka continues the downslope he could lose more games than he wins in Nashville this season and of course nobody wants to see the friendly Fin go down like that as he’s been with Nashville for over a decade. He is certainly one of the most mentally tough and competitive goalies that I have ever seen (the guy doesn’t even like getting scored on in practice). But as much as we love him, when is it time to pull the plug and let our younger guys have some of the spotlight? I’m not saying he won’t be the number 1 goalie for Nashville this year because he definitely will be the starter. I’m just questioning how good he is going to be.
Letting go of Marek Mazanec this past free agency, signing Anders Lindback once again, and drafting another 6’5 goalie in Tomas Vomacka leaves me wondering, when Pekka is done who is going to backup Juuse Saros? With many people thinking Lindback wont make it to the NHL level and Tomas Vomacka being a fresh draft pick, where do we stand with our goalie situation?
Nobody wants to see Pekka have an impekkable season more than me, and I really hope he has 2 more solid years in him. No matter what the season holds I am confident that we will make another deep playoff run and the Rinne wall will stand strong at least one more season. When it is all said and done and Pekka calls it quits his number will be retired and hopefully he stays in the organization.