Carolina has been lucky in its current goaltending situation in that they’ve been able to roll any one of their three netminders and get results. It cushioned the blow when their starting netminder and Vezina candidate was knocked out of a game against Colorado. However, Frederik Andersen has returned to the ice, and the Hurricanes are now in a very interesting position.
Andersen was knocked out of a game against Colorado over a month ago on April 16th, he’s back to limited skating with Hurricanes goaltending coach Paul Schonfelder. He’s not game-ready, but it raises an uncomfortable question in a good way. When he is healthy, do you return the reigns to the Danish shot-stopper? If you look purely at his regular-season numbers, you’d say yes. However, the playoffs have brought out a new story in goal.
Antti Raanta has been everything fans could have asked for and more since he was asked to take the workload when Andersen went down. He’s been the stalwart for this postseason run so far and he’s been better than even he thought he could be. Raanta has taken this chance and he’s been a major part of why the Hurricanes are in the second round at the time of writing this.
These two netminders will share the William M Jennings Trophy for the lowest number of goals against. They will become the first pairing to win this award when they are both in their first season with a new organization. We know that they have been everything that anyone could have asked of them, but it opens up a question. Do you ride the hot hand in Raanta or give the reigns back to the tried and trusted Freddie Andersen?
Speaking freely, I don’t particularly mind whichever one takes to the crease. This is the best headache the Canes could have. They’ve got two great guys to fill one position. With the team expressing 100% faith in both of these netminders, you can’t really go wrong as long as the team is winning. There might not be a concrete answer to this, but it’s an interesting conundrum.