Originally posted on Sports Mockery  |  Last updated 3/12/14
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS NEWS -- Antti Raanta will be in net tonight for the first time since the Olympic break. Many questioned coach Q as to why he wasn’t in net a few nights ago in Buffalo, against a much weaker opponent,  but his time has come. Raanta has not been in-between the pipes since January 28, a game in which he allowed four goals on 15 shots in 30 minutes of action versus Calgary. He also allowed two goals on 19 shots vs the Minnesota Wild on the 23rd of January. A much stronger performance will be needed tonight against a team that just basically dominated the Blackhawks, beating them 4-2 by outplaying the Hawks in the third period. The Avalanche have won three of four meetings this year. Chicago Vs. Colorado The Blackhawks have struggled mightily this year against the resurgent Avalanche under new coach Patrick Roy. On November 19th the Av’s came out and dominated the Hawks 5-1; A game in which many believe the Av’s start may have been just a fluke. They proved that night against the defending champs it was not. The Hawks did exact some sort of revenge on the 27th of December when Patrick Sharp’s hat trick paced the way to a blow out 7-2 win at the United Center. The last two meetings were the Tyson Barrie show for Colorado as he notched both game winners, once in overtime on the 14th of January and then in regulation on the 4th of March. Raanta has not started in any game this year against Colorado and that could be just part of the reason that coach Q has him in net. ) Raanta Vs. Crow Many Blackhawks fans would like to be able to compare stats and records for the two goalies in Chicago in an effort to somehow supplant Crow from the pipes. That’s just foolish and reckless. Raanta has been a very capable backup and has played very well for a number two goalie, but the numbers don’t lie. Raanta’s save percentage of .904 is average, but when compared to Crawford’s .918 save percentage you can see quite the difference. Also, Raanta’s goals against average of 2.40 is much higher then Crawford’s 2.27. The goals against average of both netminder’s needs to be better, but Crawford’s shots against per game average of 28.18 shots per game is almost 5 shots per game more then Raanta’s at 23.63. Essentially Raanta is facing less shot’s and allowing more goals; however, in Raanta’s defense, he has only lost twice in regulation in 19 games and has shown the ability to keep the Hawks in the game with highlight-reel saves when needed. The Hawks will need Raanta in a big way tonight if they hope to keep Colorado from passing them in the standings because that is exactly what is at stake in the Mile High City tonight. The Blackhawks hold a one-point edge over the Avalanche in the division, but Colorado holds the tiebreaker because it has more non-shootout wins (39-33). Author informationCorey YorkFeatured Columnist at Sports MockeryGrew up in Palatine with a hockey stick in my hand loving the Blackhawks. Learned to play and love the game from coach Scott. Although he kept telling me to play goalie! What? My father taught me to win with humility and lose with grace. If you have any questions or comments please contact info@sportsmockery.com - Thank you for reading.TwitterFacebookThe post Antti Raanta Will Start Against the Avalanche With 2nd Place on the Line appeared first on Sports Mockery.
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