|Posted by Radatz on June 9, 2017 at 12:20 AM|
The good news for Nashville is that any dreaded complacency is cured. Now they may need antidepressants. In retrospect it's hard to believe the first period ended with 9 shots apiece, let alone the game ending with 24 each. But there was no doubt who was swarming and who wasn't, as Pittsburgh's strong checking and transition game produced big gains.
That's one way of looking at it. The other is that to beat Pitt you have to expect to weather offensive storms. The Preds supposedly had the answer to that. Instead though, it was another installment of Roady RoadPekka, and true to form he couldn't peck a hole in balsa wood. The shots that beat Rinne were good shots off good plays, but he was brutal on at least two out of the three, and made some saves by obvious (or oblivious) accident. Another humiliation, this time 3 goals in 9 shots. Goalies in shootouts have better totals than that. And it sapped the will of his team. Maybe it's something peculiar to goalies from Finland? Rinne looked a lot like Rask at the Bell Center a few years ago when Boston still had a strong team. There seems to be at least one haunted house on the agenda. In Nashville he looks like we are led to believe he's supposed to look. In Pittsburgh he looks like a terrified high school star pressed into action over his head. It's that bad.
It's worth noting that in games where he hasn't been pulled his teammates have fallen over themselves keeping shots from reaching him. Tonight they stopped a ton of potential SOGs too, but it was futile. Saros didn't fare much better, but by the time #4 went in it was over. Rinne has rarely looked half as good (literally) as Anderson did in the prior series. In fact, this is the worst performance in a series by a goalie in these playoffs. Is he hurt? Something's odd. Whatever it is, only the unpredictability of this year's playoffs keeps us interested at this point.
Categories: NHL Blogs