The Chicago Blackhawks have been lucky as far as their goal tending situation is concerned. With no. 1 netminder Corey Crawford out of commission with a lower body injury, NHL rookie Antti Raanta has had to step up between the posts.
As the term of Crawford’s injury begins to reach an endpoint, an evaluation of Raanta’s showing in the net is natural. It almost seemed lucky for the Blackhawks that Nikolai Khabibulin was injured just before Crawford so that Raanta could get the chance to be called up from Rockford. Raanta has made good use of his time between the posts since being called up.
He is 9-1-2 on the season with an impressive 2.18 GAA and a .915 save percentage. So, anyone who was nervous about having Raanta in the net during Crawford’s absence has been shown what this young and talented netminder can do. He has proven that he meshes well with the team, which can be of vital importance. He has also shown how the Blackhawks organization has a knack for picking up young talent.
So what can fans expect from Raanta for the rest of the season? Well, we can expect to see him starting in the net a lot more often than Khabibulin did in relief of Crawford. We can also expect consistency that has been shown during Crawford’s absence to remain with Raanta. This is good news for fans of the Chicago hockey club, and will continue to benefit the team throughout the remainder of the season and on to the playoffs.
Raanta has the ability to make ridiculously impressive saves that leave most of us with our mouths gaping open. He has a quick glove and a watchful eye, which has been essential for the Hawks as they go against some of the toughest teams in their division. Raanta has had a few missteps, but a few bad games here and there is understandable. This rookie will continue to do great things in the net for Chicago.