Not long before the Arizona Coyotes took on (and eventually lost to) the Dallas Stars on Thursday, some eyebrows were raised that Antti Raanta went from starter to backup.
Some speculated that it was a decision made for disciplinary reasons. Others wondered if the pending UFA might have been traded.
Neither of those assumptions were true, although Raanta dealt with personal circumstances: the team announced that he was involved in a “rear-end collision” driving to the game, which the Stars won 4-1. The Coyotes described Raanta as “shaken up but OK.”
Scott Wedgewood ended up starting for Arizona, giving up three goals on 24 shots.
Here’s hoping Raanta doesn’t experience any delayed effects from the accident. It’s been a challenging season for Raanta, as his debut campaign with Arizona began with injury issues, and the team never really took off.
He’s actually been quite effective, if quietly so, and noted that he’s trying not to think about his contract situation.
“It’s not really on my mind,” Raanta said on Wednesday, via AZ Central’s Bob McManaman. “I just try to play every game as good as possible and usually after a game, if you gave your team a chance to win, that’s really all you can focus on.”
Hopefully Raanta’s luck improves during the next two months, whether he stays with the Coyotes or indeed gets traded. It certainly could have been worse today, even if it was far from the ideal situation.
Apparently it was an unlucky game for the goalies who didn’t end up playing: