By John Smith (@John_Smith426)
Game 1 of the Predators and the Blackhawks first-round matchup took place at the United center in Chicago in front of a sold-out crowd on Thursday night. What we all saw was something all Predator fans wanted to see, that would be Pekka Rinne turning back the clocks and saving the Predators in a game that was heavily tilted the other way.
In the Detroit series in 2012, the only reason the Predators came out on top was because of Mr. Rinne. In a game where the Predators were able to pounce on the Hawks early, with Viktor Arvidsson deflecting a Filip Forsberg wrister in the first period Pekka Rinne would be hard to solve, shuting out the Blackhawks 1-0.
What does this mean? It means that this team is the most talented team all-around Nashville has had. With a pair of 30 goal scores, and a pair of 60 point players, Nashville will hardly score just one goal every game. In past years, Pekka Rinne has had to absolutely steal games in order for the Predators to come out victorious. I’ll take you back to the 2012 playoffs, how many of you thought the Coyotes would win the second-round?
If the Predators can find that goal scoring prowess that propelled them into the playoffs, it definitely looks like Pekka Rinne is locked in and ready-to-go. Basically since the hip surgery, and the infection that Rinne went through causing him to miss most of the 2013-2014 campaign, you don’t know what to expect from him. One thing is for certain, when Rinne is struggling he looks very bad, but when Pekka Rinne has the swagger that he showed up to the United center with on Thursday, he’s nearly unbeatable.
This series is going to be huge for this young Predators team, and if Pekka Rinne keeps trucking along it is absolutely no stretch to think the Predators can beat the Chicago Blackhawks. No matter what the “experts” on NBC, and NHL Network want to see.