As is tradition here, we will break up our preview over two days. I’ll take the back end today, because most tend to think I’m a horse’s ass, and then Matt will be around tomorrow to take you through the forward group. So let’s dive right in before they drain the pool, shall we?
Pekka Rinne: 31-19-9, 2.42 GAA, .918 SV%, .929 EV SV%, .862 SH SV%
Ah yes, this old thing. You remember this. The Hawks have only faced one other goalie three times in the playoffs, and that would be Roberto Luongo. He was able to turn the tables on the Hawks at the third time of asking, but the 2011 team is not this team and the Predators are not the ’11 Canucks. When we first did this dance in 2010 it was a little scary facing Rinne, but then the Hawks punted him to a .911 over six games and won. In 2015 Rinne’s limitations were already well known to everyone, and while Crawford and then Darling took their turns swallowing mouthwash, Rinne couldn’t take advantage and put up a .909 over six games and was once again sent home. There’s no reason to think this will go any differently.