Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne is regarded as one goaltenders of the best in the world, and that’s why it’s so odd that he’s been able to win just one of his past six starts while posting a goals-against average of 2.87 and an ugly .869 save percentage. But even during one of the most difficult stretches of his career, Rinne keeps making unimaginable saves.
Tuesday, he made an amazing paddle stop on Max Domi that stole a sure goal from the Coyotes rookie. The play was so close it needed an official review, and the NHL released a video explaining the no-goal call. For most netminders, that would have been a save that’s impossible to top. Rinne isn’t most goaltenders.
Thursday night, the Florida Panthers burst into the Predators zone on a 2-on-1 which was broken up, but not before the puck was able to squirt to Panthers veteran Jaromir Jagr below the goal line. Jagr quickly shuffled the puck to his backhand so he could fire what looked like a sure thing into the back of the net when Rinne lunged stuck his paddle out to rob Jagr:
The highlight could have very well ended with Rinne stopping Jagr just once, but the second effort by the Predators netminder is remarkable. Down and out, Rinne uses the shaft of his stick to poke the puck off the goal line and out of harm’s way. Even during one of the worst stretches of his career, Rinne is putting himself on the highlight reel.
Rinne, who was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 2014-15, now has a 2.32 GAA and .909 SP through 21 games. He has allowed at least four goals against in six of his 20 starts.
Jagr, who was this close to his ninth goal of the season, took to Twitter post-game to take a shot at himself for not putting home what looked like a sure thing.