Apr 23, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaliePekka Rinne
(35) allows a goal during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks in game five of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
1. Pekka Rinne
Rinne was a stud in his return from an injury-plagued 2013-14 season. He ranked in the top 10 in the NHL in both save percentage and goals-against average. His .923 save percentage ranked seventh in the league and his 2.18 goals-against average finished as the third strongest in the NHL.
Without Rinne, it’s tough to say whether the Predators would have made the playoffs. He finished second behind Carey Price in Vezina voting and probably would have won it in any other season.
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Rinne also made the difficult saves look easy, as he stopped 85.37 percent of the high-danger chances he faced. He didn’t play behind a shutdown defensive unit either, as he faced 28.33 shots per game.
There’s no doubt the Predators aren’t where they are without Rinne manning the crease. He is 32-years-old, but shows few signs of slowing down. He should be the backbone of the Predators for years to come.
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