Pekka Rinne wore a permanent ear-to-ear grin when asked to contextualize the Predators’ unlikely playoff run 18 years in the making.
Rinne’s Nashville roots run deep. He was drafted in 2004, a gem unearthed in the eighth round when such a thing was still in practice. In that sense, the hulking goaltender is Predators personified and was understandably beaming when, in his 566th NHL game, he finally led the franchise to its first berth in the Western Conference finals.
It means everything right now, Rinne told reporters following a 3-1 victory to oust the Blues in six games. Obviously, we haven’t gone further than this before. It’s a great feeling, but there’s also a lot of work left. After this round, there’s only four teams, and we all know that we have what it takes and everything is in our hands. … This is why you play this game. I’m happy.
It’s safe to assume Crosby and Subban didn’t get together for a pregame Primanti Brothers sandwich to celebrate National Best Friend Day.
The two got into a wrestling match toward the end of the first period. It all started when Crosby gave Subban a whack in the back with his stick while Subban navigated toward the Pittsburgh net. The two fell and Crosby pinned Subban down, repeatedly bashing his head into the ice. Subban wasn’t a saint either, though, as he placed Crosby into a headlock as the two rose to their feet. The ordeal resulted in two-minute holding minors for both men, who headed for the locker room with 1:32 remaining in the period.