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Likely no rest coming for workhorse Rinne

Apr 6, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT

Goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators looks on during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
(March 29, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The condensed schedule hasn’t encouraged Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz to spread out the team’s goaltending duties this season.

He’s asked netminder Pekka Rinne to start in 35 — and play in 36 — of Nashville’s 38 games so far this season. Now Trotz is implying that Rinne might start in all 10 of the Predators’ remaining games, according to the Tennessean.

“Right now we don’t have any wiggle room, so you have to go with your best. We had a plan way back when we started that (today’s) game would be (backup Chris) Mason, but things change,” Trotz said. “Right now we have to go with our best, and Peks is our best.”

If Rinne ends up playing in 46 of 48 games, it would likely be the most of any goaltender this season. The only netminder in a position to match that total would be Philadelphia’s Ilya Bryzgalov, but Bryzgalov is likely to get a breather at some point after the Flyers acquired Steve Mason on Wednesday.

It’s worth noting that Rinne also played in 22 KHL contests during the lockout, so he could end up playing in 68 games between the two leagues. That total is not out of the ordinary for him, although between the work stoppage and compacted NHL schedule, this has obviously been an unusual hockey season.

  1. steelers88 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    That’s never good even if Nashville gets to the playoffs they wont go far because Rinne will burned out. You have to give goalies some rest once and a while.

    • trick9 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Maybe they are planning to sweep someone in the 1st round and give him the rest that way.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Or they’ll rest him in the regular season, and then he’ll also additionally get the entire off season to rest because they won’t get into the playoffs at all. They have 10 games left and are 4 points back. They are in a must win situation going into every game and would be stupid to not put their best lineup on the ice.

  2. 19to77 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Um… why do they even HAVE a backup at this point? Last year, he played 73 out of 82 games. This year, we’re talking about potentially 45-46 of 48. Seriously, we’re talking about 2-4 starts for Mason in the entire season.

  3. mclovinhockey - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    If he is half as fatigue as Bryz he will need a break.

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