Antti Raanta finally got a start in the Chicago Blackhawks net Sunday night – his first since Dec. 5.
The 25-year-old made 23 saves in Chicago’s 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
However, he’s struggled to find playing time due to the solid play of Scott Darling, who is 5-2-0 with a 1.97 G.A.A. and a .937 save percentage in seven games this season.
“I don’t want to give my job away,” Raanta told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I know I can play at a good level in this league.”
Raanta is now 4-2-0 with a 1.85 G.A.A. and a .944 save percentage in six appearances.
“It’s even harder when you play good games and get a couple of wins, then you have to sit and wait,” Raanta said. “Sometimes it just goes like that.”
As Mark Lazerus points out in his piece, coach Joel Quenneville continues to call it a “good problem,” as the two goaltenders battle it out in the absence of Corey Crawford.
But once the No. 1 returns, a tough decision will have to be made.
“There are some of those days when you’re a little bit down, and you just think, ‘What should I do better?’” Raanta said. “You can’t start doing that in the locker room. You can’t be there and like just be [whining] because it’s not helping anybody. I just try to be as good a teammate as I can and just try to give all that I’ve got to Scotty. He’s doing great, so it’s hard some days. But that’s just hockey.”