Pekka Rinne leads Preds with size, attitude - WSMV Channel 4

Pekka Rinne leads Preds with size, attitude

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Goaltender Pekka Rinne will be back in goal Thursday when the Nashville Predators faceoff against the St. Louis Blues.

Rinne lost the first two games of the season in shootouts, but that won't phase him one bit. Behind his pleasant nature is a tough attitude.

"It's a tough loss, and during that night you think about it - go to bed - and the next morning you're done with it, and you come to the rink ready for a new day," Rinne said.

But don't be fooled - behind a boyish smile is a steely attitude that has made Rinne one of the best goalies in the NHL today.

"Usually I think that I'm a positive guy. It's just me, I don't know," he said. "I'm pretty competitive. You always say that you want to win them all."

The Big Fin is one of those great stories in sports - a gem found deep in the eighth round of the 2004 NHL draft by the Predators. Despite his 6'6" frame, he was nimble as a cat and pucks just didn't get past him.

"My height is to my advantage. A lot of times, in those situations, I just stand up," Rinne said. "A lot of it comes naturally, and that's a great feeling when you just use your instincts. You don't have to think about it really."

Preds broadcaster Terry Crisp, who won a Stanley Cup as a player and coach, knows the importance of having a goalie who can also lead on the ice.

"In football, you have the quarterback. In baseball, you've got to have the star pitcher. But in hockey, you need the Pekke Rinne," Crisp said.

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