Jul 24, 2012; London, UK; A general view of the Olympic rings logo hanging from the roof of St. Pancras International Train Station 3 days before the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports via USA TODAY Sports
One of the newest members of the Chicago Blackhawks organization has been invited to Team Finland’s Olympic camp. Antti Raanta was invited to the Team Finland Olympic camp. Raanta’s will face stiff competition in his quest to make the team.
After evaluating the invitees posted by NHL.com, this Blackhawks fan does not likes Raanta’s chance of making the team. The popular choice by most will be Tuuka Rask from Boston to be the starter in the Olympics. With Nikolas Backstrom (only goalie from 2010team) serving as the primary backup. Antti Niemi former Chicago Blackhawks goalie and current San Jose Sharks goalie would be in next in line as the team’s final backup.
All three of these choices have a one thing going against them, they all play in NHL. Unlike the last Olympics in Vancouver, these games will be played on an international size ice rink. The international size rink favors Raanta who just wrapped up his time in the Finnish Elite League. Raanta unlike his NHL counterparts will have a shorter adjustment period to the style of play on the larger surface.
Raanta, like all goalies invited to Olympic camps, posted impressive numbers last season. While playing in the Finnish Elite League, Raanta posted an impressive record of 21-10-11 with a save percentage of .943 last season. Raanta also started for Team Finland in the World Championships posting where he finished with a 4-3 record and with save percentage of .928.
However, the international rink size and his impressive stats in the Elite Finnish league will not be enough for Antti Raanta to make Team Finland. Let’s hope the experience gained by competing against NHL goalies helps aid Raantain his transition to the NHL style of game.