It really did seem like Antti Raanta finally was going to lead the Coyotes. After an injury to Darcy Kuemper earlier this month Raanta was fueled to take over, but that was not the case.
I just don’t think the universe wants Antti Raanta to be a starting goalie, well the universe and his body I guess. Every time Raanta has been needed the last two seasons he has fallen to an injury. You can’t blame him for getting injured, but it does question whether or not he is meant to be a starting goaltender.
Raanta has played well this season with the Coyotes, posting a .912 save percentage, and tallying one shut out against Philadelphia this season. Raanta and Kuemper have become one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL.
Raanta has already played more this season than he did last season when he only started in 12 games. You can chalk that up as a victory, for many wondered if Raanta would be able to come back from last season’s injury. He did, and now he is ready to help lead this team to the playoffs.
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I really do believe Raanta is more of a backup goalie than a starter in this league. Yes, he was reliable for a stretch when the Coyotes needed him the most, winning 3 games in the span of December 31st, to January 4th, but at the same time, I would rather have Kuemper in the net.
I think it isn’t that Antti Raanta is not a good NHL goalie, rather Darcy Kuemper is just that much better. Arizona has a great goalie tandem, and I don’t think it is fair to say that Kuemper is a true starter in this league. I don’t think they were ever going to split things 60-20 in starts, rather I think it is more of a 45-35 type of goalie tandem, where Kuemper gets more of the starts but Raanta is just as called upon.
For Raanta’s play so far this season I think he has earned a C+ rating. Here is to Raanta and Kuemper splitting the rest of the season healthy!