The game allowed for rookie NHL goalie Antti Raanta to get some much needed time in the net. Raanta made 14 saves in his debut when he was sent in to relieve Corey Crawford, who gave up three shots on goal.
Raanta commented, “I know I can do it. Only now it’s the small things, so we have to keep doing work and prepare to be even better all the time.”
The backup netminder seems to have the right idea. He hasn’t even spent a full week suiting up for the Hawks yet. It will take a little time for Raanta to get himself acclimated to NHL plays, but when he does, it will be great news for all.
Raanta was one of the best players before he was drafted to the Blackhawks organization, in the Finish league. He is young, and has a lot of untapped potential that could very well arise from more time out on the ice with the Blackhawks.
Most importantly, while he may need time to get acclimated to NHL play, it still cannot take too long. The Blackhawks need to bolster their defense and a strong number two net minder is essential to making that happen.
I feel fans will be tested when they see Raanta in the net, especially if he ends up yielding more goals than we are used to, even more so when those goals cost the Hawks a win. But Chicago must be patient and know that time out on the ice is the ultimate way for Raanta to find his stride.