By John Glennon
Try as he might in the hours leading up to Monday’s game against Carolina, Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne couldn’t convince himself it was just another contest.
In one sense, it was a relatively meaningless regular-season finale, as the Predators had already clinched a playoff berth and knew their postseason seeding.
But when you’re a 38 year-old Nashville legend who hasn’t played in a month – and doesn’t have a contract for next season – well, who really knows what the future holds? Who knows if he’ll ever set foot between the pipes again, minding the net for the only franchise he’s ever played for during a 15-year NHL career?
So the nerves began Sunday, the morning after the Preds had clinched their playoff berth when Rinne knew he’d start Monday night at Bridgestone Arena.
He called family members back in Finland, disappointed COVID-19 restrictions would keep them from traveling to Nashville for the game, but even more appreciative of the sacrifices they’d made over the years.
“That kind of thing just makes you reflect a little bit,” Rinne said. “It makes you look back at your career, your upbringing, your junior career and things like that. Those were some of the things I . . .
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