Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I feel like it is time to throw a bucket of water on this smoking ember before it becomes a raging inferno. There is no, nor will there be, a starting goalie change for the Chicago Blackhawks. The faster you get that through your heads, the less silly you are going to make yourself appear.

I will be completely honest, I like Antti Raanta. He is a talented guy, happy to play, and the Blackhawks are damn lucky to have him as their backup netminder. I have nothing against him; I truly don't. The problem that the Blackhawks have is that they have two GOOD goalies. Not GREAT goalies, but GOOD ones. There is a difference between the two, though, and it needs to be hammer through some thick sculls.

We have all seen that Corey Crawford can give up the aggravating soft goal, and being a similar type of goalie, I can totally understand. Silly bounces can handcuff you, and sometimes they look terrible. That is not an excuse. He needs to improve on those types of gaffes. You have goals, like the one in the Nashville game the other night. A deflected laser from one of the two hardest shooters in the NHL, from 35 feet away. He had no chance, but if you look at the stats, it looks terrible.

The difference is that Raanta will sometimes turn routine saves into circus stunts with things like lack of rebound control, and over aggressiveness. My point being that Raanta sometimes digs himself a hole that he then has to bail himself out of.

First case in point was last night. One of Raanta's early saves was a simple low shot from a tight angle. Raanta went down into the butterfly to stop, but instead of directing the puck into the corner, the puck flipped end over end, into the air because he had his stick at a poor angle. This caused an all out panic situation, almost resulting in a goal. Raanta was beat, but the puck hit the post. Shutout preserved.

This is an additional case of a routine save turning into a Chinese fire drill, because of very poor rebound control. Shutout preserved.

Second case was this play, where he was WAY too aggressive and slid completely out of position. Had Vorachek not mishandled the puck, this was a simple goal. It is not often you see Crawford slide this far out of position. Shutout preserved.

Third case is this play, which was one of the first of the second period. Raanta was indecisive, and he froze. This put him in and extremely vulnerable position which forced him to make a much more difficult save. Generally, Crawford would have intercepted that puck on the initial dump in, or kept it from coming back out over the goal line. Shutout, again, preserved.

All this being said, again, I like Antti Raanta. Just to show I'm not picking him apart, these are two VERY good saves worth noting:

When all is said and done, I'm just pointing out that Raanta made some glaring gaffes against a very bad hockey team, and got away with it. He is simply not as composed as Corey Crawford at this point in time. These are all things that are able to be fixed, and probably will be. Do you really want to burn in an inexperienced goalie, in what may be the last hurrah for this special group of players? I sure don't and neither does anyone in the Blackhawks front office. There simply isn't anything close to a problem with the current setup. Be happy with the boring, safe, occasionally awkward starter that the Blackhawks have. Be happy that they don't have Ondrej Pavelec as their starter. Corey Crawford is far from perfect, but he's the best option the team has at this point in time. Learn to accept it.

Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive