NASHVILLE Compressed schedule? So what?
Nashville Predators all-world goaltender Pekka Rinne wants to play all 48 games of the shrunken NHL season, starting with Saturday night's sold-out season opener against Columbus at Bridgestone Arena.
"Obviously, that's what you want to do," said Rinne, the two-time Vezina Trophy nominee for league's best goaltender. "Anytime you have a chance to play, I think that is the best thing in the whole world. You always want to be on the ice."
For a moment, Rinne sounds convincing enough that you might wonder if he really could pull it off. After all, he was in net in 73 of 82 regular-season games last year.
That's not all the games in a season, but still a workmanlike 89 percent. And he did all right, too, winning 43 games with five shutouts and leading the Predators past Central Division rival Detroit in the first round of the playoffs before falling to upstart Phoenix in the second round.
"The best g...