Sitting on the podium and dealing with a query about Carolina backup goaltender Antti Raanta following the Hurricanes’ victory over the Rangers in Recreation 2 of their second-round playoff collection, Brendan Smith’s thoughts drifted to Henrik Lundqvist.
Smith, who joined the Rangers in the course of the 2016-17 season, was not in New York at Lundqvist’s peak. However the Carolina defenseman, who scored the primary purpose within the Hurricanes’ 2-0 win on Friday evening, remembers the aggressive intuition that made Lundqvist nice.
“He by no means wished to be scored on, even in follow, and he’d get upset once you did,” Smith mentioned. “And possibly that wore off on [Raanta], taking part in with him.”
To know what Raanta, who backed up Lundqvist for 2 seasons on the Rangers, has finished for Carolina, requires first understanding what the Hurricanes misplaced when beginning goalie Frederik Andersen was misplaced to a lower-body harm. In 52 video games in the course of the common season, Andersen had a .922 save share with a 2.17 goals-against common.
“This 12 months, he was the most effective goalies within the league,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour mentioned.
Raanta had good numbers as Andersen’s backup this season, as he has for many of his profession. However he’s a profession backup — although one who has saved the Rangers scoreless for the final 116:05 of this collection.
It’s not fairly within the mould of what Lundqvist did when Raanta was backing him up. The Rangers had simply 21 pictures on internet Friday, with out many Grade-A possibilities. The majority of the credit score will rightly go to Carolina’s protection, which saved the Rangers’ high six fully vexed all evening, over its goaltender.
However the classes Raanta realized from Lundqvist are paying off.
“Once I was in New York, clearly what Hank was doing there was eye-opening for me,” Raanta mentioned. “He was, in 2015, that was in all probability his seventh or eighth 12 months within the league. Yearly he was the most effective goalies. I used to be like, ‘That is the explanation why he’s one of the best goalie.’ He was at all times working, he was at all times making an attempt to get higher.
“Clearly [Benoit Allaire] in New York is likely one of the finest within the league as a goalie coach and as a human being. It was a variety of enjoyable to work with him and get to know Hank like that. Now you see [Igor] Shesterkin, he fights until the tip, he strikes unbelievably and he makes the saves he has to. Typically he makes these large spotlight reel saves. It’s clearly in all probability one thing that comes from New York.”
Raanta is just not in a category with both of these names. However by way of two video games of this collection, he has two victories and Shesterkin, the presumptive Vezina Trophy winner, has zero. Raanta didn’t lean into that after Recreation 2, however he did say that having Shesterkin throughout from him helps elevate his sport. As for the marveling over the narrative, he left that to his teammates.
“I simply suppose it’s fairly exceptional what he’s finished, proper?” Smith requested. “I believe coming in and harnessing the second and stepping in and taking part in the best way he’s, it’s phenomenal.”