Preds trample Canucks 5-1; Rinne Injured in Process

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Source: Yahoo! Sports

The Predators improved their record to 29-9-4 after trampling the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 last night, but that wasn’t before losing goaltender Pekka Rinne a few minutes into the third period. Chris Higgins slid into Rinne while storming the crease and both collided into the boards. Higgins got up unscathed; Peks, on the other hand, was a little more hesitant. After reluctantly leaving the ice, it was announced that Rinne had suffered a lower-body injury and would not return for the remainder of the game. Carter Hutton, who had been sitting stone-cold for a good two hours, was prepared to be thrown to the metaphorical wolves.

SCRATCHES: Viktor Stalberg and Mark Arcobello

First Period:

  • Craig Smith got the ball rolling at 4:07 with a powerplay goal, which – notably – Nashville has gotten a better hand at, to say the least. Colin Wilson (15) and Mike Ribeiro snag the assists on Smith’s 13th goal of the season.
  • After notching an assist, Colin Wilson would collect his 13th goal of the season at 6:22 to put Nashville up 2-0 early. Mike Fisher (8) and James Neal (11) would assist in Wilson’s goal.
  • SOG – NSH: 12, SOG – VAN: 9

Second Period:

  • Vancouver came out in the second with a fire lit under their pants, giving Nashville the runaround for a majority of the period. Alexander Edler would put the Canucks on the board at 2:47 for his fifth goal of the season.
  • SOG – NSH: 9, SOG – VAN: 11

Third Period:

  • And we have reached the point in the post where we return to the first paragraph: Vancouver’s Higgins slides into Rinne, causing both to crash into the boards behind the net.
    MeekFatherlyFlickertailsquirrelAs you can see, it really wasn’t that bad of a collision and Anton Volchenkov also had a play in Rinne hitting into the boards (but we like to blame the Canucks for any and everything). As previously mentioned, Rinne was hesitant to leave the game and left on his own power, leading me to believe that Rinne being pulled from the remainder of the game was more of a precautionary tool than anything. Let me finish the recap and we’ll return to this subject.
  • Carter Hutton wiped off his cap, slapped on his pads, and hit the ice, his first appearance on home ice this entire season (his previous five appearances were on the road).
  • The Canucks pressured Hutton and the net well after he entered the game, but a noticeable fire was lit under the Predators.
  • Filip Forsberg put the Predators up 3-1 at 13:32 for his 15th goal of the season. Mike Ribeiro (29) and Victor Bartley (6) notched the assists.
  • Mike Fisher would take the Preds up 4-1 at 15:31 for his 8th goal of the season. James Neal (12) and Colin Wilson (16) would tally an assist from Fisher’s goal.
  • And, what was originally called as Craig Smith’s goal, Colin Wilson collected his second goal of the night (14th overall) on the powerplay at 17:39, taking the wheels right out from under the Canucks.
  • SOG – NSH: 9, SOG – VAN: 11

Noteworthy Notes:

  • Carter Hutton, though he came in for Rinne in the third, does not actually collect the win; Pekka still does. This is due in part to the fact Hutton did not allow a goal, but Rinne did during his time in net. Had Hutton allowed a goal and Nashville still won, he would’ve collected the win.
  • Hutton did, however, stop the ten shots on goal that came his way, and many were pretty nail-biting.
  • Mike Ribeiro continues to be a proving asset to the Predators as he has now tallied 20 points in his last 20 games.
  • This is the third time in Colin Wilson’s career that he has tallied four points within a game. The kid’s on fire.
  • Back to Pekka: Later on after the game, it was announced that Rinne was day-to-day with his lower-body injury and that he would be re-evaluated on Thursday. Again, I believe that he being pulled from the game last night was purely precautionary and a “rather be safe than sorry” scenario; boy, do I hope I am right. Because he was able to get up on his own, stretch, and debated on whether he’d go back to the net or not is my reasoning behind believing this may just be a safety measure. Again, I really, really hope I am right. As great as Nashville has been, Pekka Rinne is a huge factor in that success and it would be hard to seal those gritty wins without him.

The Predators take two days off – plenty of time to work some kinks out – and then welcome in Barry Trotz (and Joel Ward, Mike Latta, and Jack Hillen) to Nashville on Friday. It is also Mike Fisher bobblehead night, though I think the game may already be sold out. Stub Hub and NHL Ticket Exchange have tickets available, but – in personal experience – my tickets sold in less than fifteen minutes yesterday. Needless to say, if you want to go, you better get on it.

As for Pekka Rinne, I will keep you updated as news becomes available regarding his condition. Cross your fingers, say your prayers, do whatever your little superstitious heart desires, Preds fans.

Pekka Rinne Update

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Another update has been released on Pekka Rinne’s condition. Here is the press release from the Nashville Predators:

We are encouraged and pleased to report that Pekka is moving on to the next stage in his recovery and rehabilitation. He has been cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Byrd. There is no timetable for this stage as that will be evaluated by Dr. Byrd and our medical team on a daily basis. Our primary objective is to insure Pekka’s full recovery and return to the ice by taking every possible precaution throughout the process. We will provide further updates when available.

 

Pekka Rinne Update: E.Coli Infection

Image: Getty Images

So, we are all aware of Pekka Rinne’s infection in his surgically-repaired hip, but no one was prepared to hear exactly what type of infection it was.

An Escherichia coli (or E.Coli as it is affectionately called) infection. Yikes.

Though rare, infections in repaired hips are nothing to toy with and can cause serious damage or worse (we won’t go into those details). Luckily, Pekka’s symptoms were caught early and we don’t suspect his team of doctors will let it go unmonitored, so his expected recovery time is 6-8 weeks… just in time for Christmas/New Year’s.

Now, that’s just a rough estimate; his condition could worsen or get better depending on how his body reacts to antibiotics and other methods of recovery, just like any other type of infection. When the infection was intially discovered, Rinne did undergo a hip scope to clean out the infection.
However, do not get your hopes up for a speedy recovery. Just like any other serious infection, no one is going to be pushing Rinne back into the net any time soon, even if he’s the one claiming better health. I suspect we will begin hearing leaks of his recovery around the 6-8 week time frame, but I do not think he’ll be ready until he has been deemed completely back to 100%. No jumping back into the ice ahead of time for this guy!

So, that leaves Carter Hutton to man the goal posts until late December at the minimum. His confidence has me thinking he’ll be fine; a good stand-in until Peks can get back to his former self. When games go South for Nashville, all the blame cannot be bestowed upon Hutton, though he’s an easy target. Hutton’s had some outstanding, heart-stopping saves, but he has also had some blunders that would make kids in the juniors blush. But hey, you live and you learn, right?

The Predators are in Denver tonight to take on the 12-1-0 (yay) Avalanche, a team that defeated Nashville last month in their first meeting of the 2013-14 season. The Avalanche are hot, but Nashville’s known for their pesky determination and have pulled some wins out of nowhere. Let’s do that.