One can assume that some strong recent play from Raanta, 25 – not to mention improving health for Corey Crawford – prompted the move. Raanta won two games in a row and his last four straight starts in general; he’s quietly been very good overall in 2014-15 with a 5-2-0 record and an excellent .938 save percentage.
Darling’s numbers have been nearly identical: he’s also 25, went 5-2-0 and is a hair behind Raanta with a .937 save percentage. (He also has a lush beard, as you can see in this post’s main image).
Despite the demotion, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville gave Darling a strong review to CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers.
“He’s made big strides every time he’s been in the net he’s been good for us. He’s been big, solid, really consistent,” Quenneville said. “He’s done a tremendous job for us.”
Crawford, 29, is to play sometime this coming weekend, according to Myers.