The net for the Carolina Hurricanes has seen quite a few players this season. The rookie sensation, Pyotr Kochetkov had a nice run in December, taking the rookie of the month honors.
The opportunity presented itself when starting netminder, Frederik Andersen, went down with an injury that kept him out until recently.
Backup, Antti Raanta, had an opportunity to get more work but also succumbed to a few nagging injuries.
The combination of the banged-up Raanta and Kochetkov’s performance led to Raanta seeing less time in between the pipes than expected when Andersen went down.
Raanta has always been a solid backup goalie that can provide some excellent performances when called upon.
The concern with Raanta will be how long he can stay healthy and for an extended period.
This season, Raanta has had some nagging injuries but nothing that has kept him out for long stints. Kochetkov won over the job and earned most of the starts while Andersen was out.
The 33-year-old veteran contributed to the win streak in December with some flawless play and some games where he struggled mightily but kept the Canes in the game long enough for the offense to win it.
Raanta has kept his stats along his career average with a 2.63 GAA but his save percentage has dipped a little at .894.
Regardless of some struggling performances and injuries, Raanta has racked up 10 wins and provided the Canes a chance to win most nights he is in between the pipes.
I would give Raanta a B- for the first half.
Andersen has played just 12 games this season and 4 of those games have come this month since returning from injury.
Although it is a small quantity, Andersen has played well and posted a 2.40 GAA with a .910 save percentage.
Of late, Andersen has been very steady and quick in covering post-to-post. He has led the way in breaking the losing streak.
Like Raanta, the main concern with Andersen is keeping him healthy. Last year he was not healthy enough to play in the playoffs and that was felt despite Raanta’s efforts.
I give Andersen a B+ for the first half because he cannot be deducted for an injury and he has come back strong.