Pekka Rinne has recently been the subject of criticism all around the NHL, after his very poor showing in this seasons’ playoffs. Rinne posted an abysmal .904 save percentage in this years playoffs. It all came to a head when Nashville took on Winnipeg in game 7 of the second round and Rinne allowed two horrendous goals to put Nashville down 2-0 on home ice just ten minutes into the game. I always try my best to analyze why a certain player may not be performing the way he is supposed to. Pekka Rinne however, is one of the most puzzling players in the NHL.
Look at the career playoff numbers for Rinne above. Rinne has had bad playoff runs before this year, but 2018 takes the cake. He posted two shutouts in 13 games and still had the worst playoff save percentage of his career. A .915 career save percentage in playoff games isn’t bad, but the inconsistency is unbelievable.
Take a look at his regular season career numbers and you will notice a similar trend, absolutely no consistency. There isn’t even a back and forth trend on good years and bad years. It is just completely sparatic in terms of his save percentage.
Take a look at a guy such as Freddy Andersen. He is not an elite goalie such as Carey Price or Sergei Bobrovsky. However, he has been consistent in terms of save percentage where he hovers around the .915-.920 range every season. With Rinne, there is a change of at least .006 percent each season he plays. It’s not as if this is a small sample size either, as he has been in the 60+ game range for his entire career.
At 35 years old, I doubt we will see any change in Pekka Rinne’s career path. It’s almost inevitable that he will continue to be the minesweeper of goalies. You never know if you are going to get a Vezina candidate or Vesa Toskala during his tenure with the Leafs. Many years down the line, fans like us are going to look back on the career of Pekka Rinne and go “what the hell was that?”