Thursday, December 26, 2013
Stock Watch: Raanta filling in nicely
By Scott Powers
While Patrick Kane continues to rack up points, he has struggled in shootout situations.
Antti Raanta, goaltender: Raanta has kept the Blackhawks rolling despite losing Corey Crawford to injury. Raanta has started seven consecutive games and has allowed more than two goals in a game just once since Crawford was hurt on Dec. 8. Raanta is 8-1-2 with a 2.20 goals-against average and .916 save percentage on the season.
Patrick Kane, forward: Kane is creating a permanent place on this list. He never had a 12-game points streak prior to this season and now has two of them. He’s currently riding one now and will have a chance to push it to 13 games on Friday. He’s tallied a point in 24 of the last 25 games and has 15 goals and 23 assists over that time. His 49 points this season are second to only Sidney Crosby’s 54 points for the league lead.
Patrick Sharp, forward: Sharp continues to build his case for a spot on Canada’s Olympic team. He’s produced 12 points, including seven goals, over the last eight games. He ranks ninth in the league with 18 goals and 15th with 36 points. He went into the three-day holiday break with a two-goal performance against the New Jersey Devils.
Penalty kill: The Blackhawks’ penalty kill is on one of its better stretches this season. The Blackhawks have allowed one power-play goal over the last 15 chances. They have separated a few percentage points between themselves and the bottom two teams in the league. With a 75.6 penalty-kill percentage, the Blackhawks still have a lot of work to do to even catch the 27th team, the Minnesota Wild, at 78 percent, but they are making progress.
Shootout shooters: The Blackhawks were one of the league’s better teams at converting shootout chances last season. They scored 16 goals on 38 chances and were ranked 11th with a 42.1 percentage. They have struggled in that area this season. They’ve scored nine shootout goals on 38 chances and rank 23rd at 23.7 percent. Patrick Kane is especially been off this season. He’s failed on all eight shootout attempts this season after leading the Blackhawks with six shootout goals last season. The Blackhawks are still 4-4 in shootouts, mostly due to their goaltenders, who are fifth in the league with .765 shootout save percentage.