When fearless forecasts were filed prior to the Stanley Cup playoffs, most prognosticators outside of the Grand Ole' Opry presumed the Blackhawks would turn the Nashville Predators into a sad country song.
You know, lesser team dreams big, then reality strikes, and the underdog disappears, along with the neighbor's dog. The one caveat, as always, would be goaltending. Specifically, could Pekka Rinne, who has given the Blackhawks problems in the past, steal a game? Or two? Or even a series?
Well, he's off to a good start. Rinne beat the Blackhawks Thursday night, 1-0 at the United Center, to provide the visitors a 1-0 advantage in this First Round series. Rinne looked big in the net because he is. He is 6 foot, 5 inches. However, before we place him beside Terry Sawchuk and Ken Dryden on the Mount Rushmore of opposing masked men who have robbed the Blackhawks, let us suggest that Rinne's was not the classic stand-on-your head performance.