“Our motivation is the Cup,” Nashville captain Mike Fisher said. “We want to win it.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pekka Rinne is a friendly, polite man off the ice. Slipping the puck past the Nashville Predators goaltender is one of the few ways to anger the 6-foot-5 Finn.
Pucks bouncing past him on the NHL’s biggest stage infuriate him. Rinne chopped his stick against a goalpost not once, but twice after giving up a fifth and final goal a year ago when Nashville was ousted from the playoffs.
That was just Game 7 in the second round.
Now Rinne goes into the biggest game of his career Sunday night needing yet another home victory to force both the defending champs and the Stanley Cup Final to a deciding seventh game back in Pittsburgh. And Rinne spent the past 40 minutes stewing on the bench as the Penguins finished off a 6-0 rout Thursday night in easily Nashville’s worst playoff loss.
“You have those thoughts that why (is) the puck getting deflected in off our guys or something like that,” Rinne said Saturday. “You try to work so hard that the luck is also on your side. When bounces not going your way, sometimes you question, have second thoughts in your head, but that’s life.”
The goalie so competitive he doesn’t like teammates scoring on him in practice is back in Nashville where he’s been nearly unbeatable over the past two postseasons at 13-1.
Rinne has a 9-1 record this spring with a 1.44 goals-against average and .949 save percentage…Read More