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Nashville’s Rinne: ‘It’s tough to win when you don’t score goals’

Feb 11, 2013, 1:37 PM EDT

Pekka Rinne AP

It wasn’t a full-blown criticism, but Pekka Rinne minced no words in explaining why the Preds have just five wins in their first 11 games.

“It’s tough to win when you don’t score goals,” he told The Tennessean following Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Chicago. “This is the third time in 11 games now that we got shut out.”

Nashville sits dead last in a number of the NHL’s most significant offensive stat categories: goals per game (1.83), shots on goal per game (21.1) and third-period goals (five).

Even worse? The Preds have 22 goals on the year, nine of which came in two games against St. Louis (a 4-3 shootout loss on Jan. 21 and a 6-1 win on Feb. 5).

Taking away the St. Louis games, Nashville has just 13 goals in nine games.

Obviously, that’s not good.

Rinne’s in an awkward position because, as a goalie, it always sounds bad when you get after your teammates for not providing enough offense.

But given his impressive numbers — a 1.92 GAA and .929 save percentage — it’s easy to understand why he’s frustrated about having just four wins to his credit.

“Obviously, my job is to keep the pucks out of our end and our net,” he explained. “It was just one of those nights. [Chicago] created some momentum in the second period. They got the first goal and right after that got the second one, and that was pretty much the game right there.

“But overall, obviously we’ve got to create a little bit more [offense]. We can’t hide behind any excuses like this being a back-to-back game or anything like that.”

  1. jpelle82 - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    captain obvious making a statement here. love it when the goalie comments on the offense. wake up dudes!

  2. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    He should try going end to end with the puck next game…just to prove a point to his teammates. No matter what happens it would be hilarious to watch.

    • killerpgh - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      Patrick Roy tried that years ago. It’s a penalty if the goalie touches the puck past the red line.

      • hockeyflow33 - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        I believe there is an exception for forwards dressed as goalies so long as they shoot a knucklepuck.

  3. chelseax11 - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Rinne has every right to be pissed at the offense. Right now he is the only thing keeping Nashville breathing. Nobody has ever won a game with an egg on their side of the scoreboard, and when you consider the team in front of him, he’s actually been pretty lights out. Staying Top 3 in GA is impressive. Perhaps their goalie giving them a slap in the face through the media is exactly what they need. They should talk with the Islanders or Tampa. The Islanders and Tampa need defense and the Preds need offense.

  4. smgraff4 - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    This only screams out one question. “Wherefore art thou, Alex Radulov?”

    • thailer35 - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Playing somewhere that he won’t be suspended for partying like he did in Phoenix during the playoffs last year.

      • smgraff4 - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Nobody gets in trouble for partying unless the player already had massive confrontations with the coaches. Alex Radulov, whether he’s been in the KHL or NHL or Russian SuperLeague, has made a habit of that. My guess is he got CSKA’s coach fired this past season (and they brought on some Finnish guy who doesn’t even know Radulov), and CSKA’s ownership wanted to still suck up to him because of the massive salary they’re obligated to pay him. (He’s also their only outside-salary-cap player.)

      • smgraff4 - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        But I’m not sure what Radulov’s reputation in Russia is. He obviously scores goals, but his attitude problems and everything that comes with them can’t be very endearing to their fans. It’s kind of like Rafa Marquez getting paid way too much to simply clear the ball out of bounds, take red cards, slouch in training, clash with teammates and coaches, etc. and forcing his way off of one club (NYRB) and to another (Club Leon in Mexico), getting paid just as much and acting the same way.

    • scionofflame - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Radulov is an undisciplined player who cares more about himself than anyone else on the team. Preds might want his offensive power, but I don’t think his crap in the locker room is anything ANY team should want.

  5. lsxphotog - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    It has to be frustrating when you’re doing your job…and doing it rather well at that, and nobody up front helps you out to keep the win. Preds need to make moves for a star forward or bring up some young talent to try and wake up the offense.

  6. bardown66 - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    One of the best in the game and the best player on his team hands down. He has every right to say whatever he wants.

    • valoisvipers - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      He might have every right to say whatever he wants but throwing your teammates under the bus is not the way to make your point. He could have suggested line changes to spark the offense.

  7. mydoglouie - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Their style of hockey they play is also the cure for insomnia!

  8. scionofflame - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    The Predators have long been a ‘defense first’ team, but…man. The offense really needs to come up. They’ve got some talents on the ice in their young players, and they’ve been flourishing. Colin Wilson being the one doing good work.

    But the rest of the team can’t seem to pitch in. Erat, Fisher, Legwand, Kostitsyn, etc. The ones doing the scoring are people like Colin Wilson, Gabriel Borque, Craig Smith, Brandon Yip, Rich Clune…decent players, but not the ‘scoring threats’ on the team.

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