NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Jordan Eberle #14 of the Edmonton Oilers first a shot past Shea Weber #6 and onto goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Pekka Rinne has been shaky this week, which is not necessarily what the Predators want from their $49 million man.
Earlier this season, the Nashville Predators signed Pekka Rinne to s seven-year, $49 million extension, the largest contract in franchise history. It seemed like a sound investment at the time.
Then there are nights like Tuesday, when Rinne gave up three goals on 13 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Predators head coach Barry Trotz pulled Rinne in favor of Anders Lindback.
"I didn't want to continue to subject Pekka to the way we were playing," Trotz said after the game.
While Rinne has been solid overall this season (third in the NHL with 10 wins, league-leading three shutouts), he has been shaky lately. He has allowed seven goals in his last two appearances against average teams - Edmonton and the Columbus Blue Jackets ("average" may be a stretch for them). Rinne had only allowed six goals in his previous four starts before this recent two-game slide.
Rinne has been in the net for all 10 Nashville wins this season, so the Predators rely on him for victories. He's capable of it, but if he falters like he has this week, so will the Predators.