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Struggling goalie Hutton takes blame as Trotz calls out defense

Nov 12, 2013, 10:05 AM EDT

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 31: Goaltender Carter Hutton #30 of the Nashville Predators in action during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on October 31, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 5-4 in an overtime shoot out. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Few teams rely on their starting goaltender more than the Nashville Predators with Pekka Rinne. Now that he’s out with a hip injury, they’ve turned to 27-year-old Carter Hutton, who had just one game worth of NHL experience going into this season.

The results haven’t been pretty. Hutton has a 3.53 GAA and .887 save percentage in nine games this season. Things have gone particularly bad lately, with Hutton getting yanked midway through the first period of Friday’s contest and then allowing five goals on Sunday.

Of course, Hutton didn’t come into the season anticipating that Rinne would suffer a major injury within the first month. He likes the opportunity, but admitted that it’s “a bit overwhelming.” He’s also quick to accept the blame for the goals he’s let in, but Predators coach Barry Trotz doesn’t think Hutton is solely responsible.

“He has gone through having a couple of rough patches in game,” coach Barry Trotz told the Tennessean, “but one of the things people have to understand is the goaltender is the last line of defense.”

Unfortunately for the Predators, Hutton and their defense haven’t been the team’s only problems lately. They have also been shutout of back-to-back contests.

Rinne isn’t expected to return any time soon, so Nashville will probably use Hutton again on Tuesday when they face the New York Islanders.

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