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Raanta Continue to Shine For New York Rangers

Antti Raanta (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Antti Raanta (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)


Antti Raanta, who is supposed to be the New York Rangers backup goalie, has been anything but this year and, especially recently, has been downright dominant for the blueshirts. So far this season, Raanta has posted an 8-1-0 record with a 1.65 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and two shutouts. Those two shutouts have come in back to back games for the Rangers, earning him this week’s second star in the NHL.

Raana, who’s eight wins are nearly half of the Rangers 20 so far started his recent hot streak on the road in Winnipeg, not the easiest place to get a win, with a 2-1 victory. He then followed that up the next night with a shutout against his former team the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago where the Hawks have only lost twice in regulation this year. The Rangers coaching staff decided to continue to ride the hot hand by starting Raanta again Sunday night at home against the Devils where he subsequently shut them out as well. His numbers during this three game winning streak are 3-0-0 with a 0.33 goals-against average, .984 save percentage. You can’t do it much better than that!

To be this successful you have to be lucky sometimes and Raanta has certainly been on the positive side of some puck luck. When playing the Blackhawks it appeared Hossa had scored a goal to put the Hawks up 1-0 in the third but upon further review it was determined he was offside on the play leading to the goal being disallowed. Then on Sunday night Henrique scored a goal in the first period only for that goal to have been determined to be kicked in and thusly waved off. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good, in Raanta’s case, he’s been both.

Who knows just how long this tremendous run of form will last for Raanta but the Rangers will continue to use him for as long as they’re getting shutouts and good performances. The worst case scenario is that it creates an actual goalie controversy with Henrik Ludqvist and, like having too many good pitchers in the MLB, having two very good goalies is a great problem to have. As long as the puck isn’t going in their own net, the Rangers will continue to be happy.

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