McKenna Match of the Day: April 1 – Antti Raanta vs. Samuel Montembeault
Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna gives his Daily face-to-face Start of the goalkeeper game of the day for Saturday. April 1, 2023:
Why I love this game:
Raanta is back in goal for the Hurricanes after missing more than three weeks of action through injury, and not too soon. Although Frederik Andersen was Carolina’s number one goaltender when available, he’s lost three straight and the eye test hasn’t been great. Could Raanta grab the trick? And more importantly, can he stay healthy?
To monitor :
Montembeault has started a career-high 34 games this season and is posting a career-high .904 save percentage. Playing for the rebuilding Canadiens didn’t make life easy, but Montembeault showed the form that led to him being a third-round pick by the Florida Panthers in 2015. To me, Montembeault seemed more confident in his movements and saving caps than at any point in his career, and that has led to a new consistency.
Raanta’s record – 16-2-3 – speaks for itself. But he’s only been available for 22 games this season. And his .907 save percentage is well below Raanta’s .918 in 249 regular-season NHL games. He has three shutouts this season.
What fantasy owners should do:
With Raanta’s record, it would be almost impossible not to throw it. It’s smart money. But you never know what you’ll get with the Canadiens, except a good chance on a lot of shots faced. Montembeault should probably stay on the infantry bench until Montreal improves.
Conclusion for Antti Raanta:
I don’t like beating a goalkeeper because he gets injured all the time, but that’s the reality with Raanta. I’m not sure the Hurricanes can count on him given his injury history.
Conclusion for Samuel Montembeault:
This season has been a major breakthrough.