Dec 10, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta (31) makes a save as defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) defends against Dallas Stars right wing Erik Cole (72) during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Stars 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Quenneville took to the airwaves for his normal radio broadcast and had this to say about rookie back up goalie Kent Simpson
Antti Raanta is now 5-0-1 since coming in for the injured goalies Nikolai Khabibulin and more importantly Corey Crawford while giving up just a hair over 2 goals a game. The biggest question of the beginning of the week was would Raanta be the man and play all the games for the three weeks that Crawford is on the shelf or would Simpson get a shot.
Antti Raanta comes up huge on this short handed breakaway attempt. GIF by Joe Kremel of BlackhawkUp.com feed from NBC and the NHL
Now of course unsure doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen, but in Q talk it sounds like if Raanta keeps up his solid play that we will only see Raanta in net for the next couple weeks.
One thing is for sure is that the all the chatter about the Hawks making a trade for a goalie has seem to dissipate with the play of Raanta, and not that Stan Bowman is going to panic during a 3 week stretch of a Crawford injury, but the play of Raanta although not spectacular has been solid enough to settle people down from thinking the Hawks need to make a move. The Hawks are scoring over 4 goals a game and Raanta is almost routinely giving up only two goals a game so if my math is right on the current pace everything is cool for right now as long as status quo doesn’t get altered again.
The other news is that Quenneville stated that Bickell could be back for the December 20th Vancouver Canuck game. Of course when Bickell returns this means that Jeremy Morin will be on the first plane back to Rockford. The biggest thing when Bickell returns is to fit seemless into a Hawks offense that is exploding with 19 goals in the last 3 games.
What do you think? Should Simpson see a game or two during the next couple weeks?
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LET’S GO HAWKS!!