It's the best time of year!
To go along with today’s ‘30 in 30’ featuring the Predators, I caught up goaltender Pekka Rinne yesterday at the team’s practice facility…
RLD: How was your summer?
Pekka Rinne: Yeah, had a great summer. I pretty much stayed back home and it goes by so fast and it’s just nice to be around your family and friends. So I tried to stay in my hometown as much as possible and it was a really good summer.
RLD: Did you train or skate a lot during the summer?
Rinne: Yeah, I usually skate with my old team, so that’s a good thing. I’ve probably been skating for a month and a half now. I’ve felt better and better all the time.
RLD: Going into the year, you’ve got the clear number one role. Do you feel ready physically to start more often than the last couple years?
Rinne: Yeah, absolutely. That’s my goal, to be so good. I want to play that many games, and hopefully I can do it… but that’s not something I’ve been thinking about too much.
RLD: Have you been training any differently this summer, knowing you’ll be playing more?
Rinne: No, not at all. It’s the same thing in the minors, too. In Milwaukee I used to play a lot of games, 60-plus games, almost 70 plus the travel. It’s that much harder to travel in the AHL than up here. Obviously you have to be in good shape and ready to play.
RLD: How important is it for you to play game after game and staying in a rhythm, per se?
Rinne: I think that’s big. Obviously when things go well, it gets kind of easier and easier. The game slows down. Hopefully that’s what happens and that’s my goal to be ready for it.
RLD: What do you take away from your first playoff experience?
Rinne: It just goes to show the difference is so small and the margin between teams is extremely small. At least of myself, it built up my confidence knowing that every single team in this league has a chance. Everybody knows we had a great chance against Chicago, and that gives us a little extra motivation for this season.
RLD: What are your expectations going into the year?
Rinne: Just expecting a good year and really excited for it. I think we have a really good group of guys. We’re young with lots of speed and energy, and I’m real excited and looking forward to the season.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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