The roar of home crowd still in his ears, Predators Pekka Rinne makes the right call in retiring

By John Glennon

    Having surrendered a whopping eight goals on just 36 shots in the first two games of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne returned to Nashville a bit bruised and battered.

    He’d carried the Predators through the better part of the first three rounds of the postseason, but all of a sudden Rinne looked out of sorts, wayward pucks somehow finding holes in his pads.

    So with the Predators facing a must-win situation – trailing Sidney Crosby and the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 – Rinne stepped onto the Bridgestone Arena ice in the moments leading up to Game Three.

    That’s when the healing began, a restorative roar for the home team in general, but for the franchise’s cornerstone in particular.

    “Skating out for warm-ups, you could already feel our home crowd behind us, and as well toward me,” said Rinne, who announced his retirement Tuesday following a 15-year career and a 369-213-75 record.

    “They were so supportive. They felt like I needed that little extra feel-good, and I really did.”

    A leap of faith

    The relationship between Rinne and the Predators started way back in 2004, but it was not . . .

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