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Reaction on Rinne

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 2:38 PM
By Jimi Russell - Nashville Predators / The Russell Report

The Nashville Predators announced today that goaltender Pekka Rinne will undergo arthroscopic hip surgery to determine what may have caused an unexpected infection of his hip.

“When (Pekka) got back to Nashville after the plane ride home, he developed some soreness and stiffness in his hip and had a little bit of a fever,” Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said. “He came into practice yesterday with a significant limp and was in a fair bit of pain. We sent him to Vanderbilt to see Dr. [J.W. Thomas] Byrd who did the operation five months ago. A series of tests and an MRI determined that he has a spontaneous bacterial infection.”

The infection could not have come at a worse time, considering Rinne played lights-out on Tuesday night in Minnesota, albeit in a losing effort. Rinne is 1-1-1 in his last three outings, allowing one goal in each, and, in his past five starts (3-1-1), the Kempele, Finland native has turned away 120-of-128 shots against to post a 1.60 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.

“I’m not a doctor, but in talking with the doctor, they have no idea how this developed five months after the fact,” Poile said. “He was healed up and had no significant pain or setbacks. Because of the infection, they are going to do a scope of his hip to flush it out and to do the ultimate best they can to remove the infection as soon as possible. Because of the scope, he will be out approximately one month, so that is where we are. I have no other updates on it in terms of more details.”

With Rinne out for at least the next month, in steps Carter Hutton, the solid, yet unproven backup netminder. Hutton has progressed nicely since coming in on July 5, and his work with Predators goaltending coach Mitch Korn seems to have paid off this past Sunday, when he defeated the Winnipeg Jets for his first NHL win.

“You’re always prepared to play,” Hutton said. “This is definitely not the way that I want to play – you want to win the job, but that the same time, you always have to be ready.”

To back up Hutton, rookie goaltender Magnus Hellberg has been recalled from Milwaukee. Hellberg, who was selected with the Preds’ first pick (38th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has posted a 1-2-0 record, a 2.23 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in three starts this season for the Admirals. The 6-6, 195-pound netminder is just a season removed from tying for second among AHL goaltenders in shutouts (6), while ranking fourth in goals-against average (2.14) and save percentage (.924).

Only time will tell in regards to how quickly Rinne recovers from this most recent issue and as to how well Hutton plays in his absence. One thing was made certain this morning – Poile and his staff feel confident in their backup plan with one of the League’s top goaltenders out of commission for the foreseeable future.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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