Mar 28, 2014; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta (31) in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators defeated the Blackhawks 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
With the focus on the Blackhawks starting goal tender Corey Crawford, their backup goalie is making headlines of his own. Antti Raanta who racked up a record of 13-5-4 with a .897 save percentage and 2.71 goals against average stated today that he would like to return to the Blackhawks next season.
Despite not playing since April 12th, Raanta has been staying sharp at practice. Raanta has been spending extra time on the ice with little used David Rundblad. He has been analyzing game films with goalie coach Steve Weeks.
The original plan for Raanta this season was for him to spend the year in Rockford and get accumulated to the NHL style of play. Injuries to both Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin forced Raanta into action. He played well during that stretch but after that Crawford’s return Raanta’s playing time diminshed. Raanta struggled in his spot starts. Raanta had signed a one year with the Blackhawks last offseason. He has stated he has been learning something new from watching Crawford play. Raanta hopes to continue to watch Crawford play the Blackhawks into another Stanley Cup and into next season.
Raanta stated that “he is ready to step in” but everyone including Raanta does not want that to happen during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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