Rinne Back On The Ice, Travels With Team
The Predators have officially been without the services of Vezina favorite Pekka Rinne for over 2 weeks and the question now is when we can expect him to return to game action. The original time-table for his return was 3-5 weeks from his grade II knee sprain. Some positive news came this week when Rinne was back on the ice practicing on his own. Combine that with the fact Rinne is traveling with the team on this road trip, and you have to draw the conclusion that his return will come sooner rather than later. With that said, I still don’t expect him to play on this trip that takes the Preds to St. Louis, Colorado, and finishing up with a Sunday matinee in Pittsburgh. The earliest I would expect Rinne is Tuesday when the team returns home to face Toronto, which falls exactly 3 weeks from his injury.
The Preds currently sit 5 points ahead of the Blues and Coach Laviolette has confirmed this morning that Carter Hutton will once again start tonight in the battle of the top two teams in the Central Division. I don’t believe Lavy will go with Hutton on back to backs again after the disaster in Detroit, so it’s likely Marek Mazanec gets the call against Colorado tomorrow, then go back to Hutton on Sunday. Thus far, Hutton is a respectable 2-1-1 since Rinne’s absence and made a handful of excellent saves on Tuesday vs Colorado. So long as the team continues on this current path, there’s no reason to rush Rinne back to action unless he’s absolutely 100% ready.