We had a chance to catch up with Pekka Rinne this afternoon as he prepares for a big night in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards Show. Not only is he a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, but the voting results for the EA Sports NHL 13 cover will be revealed.
Rinne sounded pretty anxious for tonight’s festivities to get under way…
24/7: What’s kind of your feeling heading into tonight?
Rinne: I’m excited. Once it gets closer I’m sure I’ll be a little nervous, too. I’m just going to try to enjoy it. I’m sure it’s going to be great fun again and I’m looking forward to it.
How excited are you about the possibility of being on the cover?
I’m very excited. I’m sitting in the EA Sports suite here and it’s been great fun. I got to see the game and everything around it. I’m very excited about the chance that Claude Giroux and I have here.
What were some of your thoughts playing the game?
It’s unreal. It’s amazing what they can do with video games. It’s so realistic. I’m sure all the gamers are going to be excited for the new game. It’s going to be even more realistic than before. Being a goalie, it’s always important how the goalies move and how they make saves, how they play the game – that part is pretty unbelievable. Now they can make desperation saves and kinds of deflection saves – a lot of cool stuff. That’s going to be a game-changer for sure.
What did you think of the fan response here in Nashville and around Twitter?
It was pretty cool. I wish I could have been in Nashville and been more involved. I was in Finland at the time. I got all sorts of emails and phone calls and felt the excitement that way. It’s very special. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Charlie Sheen and Carrie Underwood [supporting me] on Twitter. I just want to thank all of our fans and all the people who voted for me.
You’re also nominated for the Vezina Trophy tonight. What would mean more to you: the NHL 13 cover or the Vezina?
That’s a tough question. The Vezina Trophy is more involved with how you play and if you’re successful. Obviously the same thing goes for EA Sports cover; you have to play well. For myself, I needed a lot of help to be in the finals and I needed a lot of fans to vote for me, so that’s something I didn’t really do anything with. It was all fans who voted for me. I’m going to enjoy both nominations. It’s a huge honor for myself and I know it’s not going to happen every year.
I assume they will put you and Claude Giroux out on the stage together when they announce the cover vote results. What do you expect your nerves to be like?
I’m probably going to be pretty nervous. Usually I’m not really good with a lot of people or talking to a lot of people. I might have a chocolate bar before that so I don’t pass out on the stage.