Getting to Know: Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta

Antti Raanta (via NHL/YouTube)

Status: New York Rangers goaltender.

HT: 6-0 WT: 192 pounds
DOB: May 12, 1989 In: Rauma, Finland

First Hockey Memory: “I think when I went first time on the ice, I got my players skates and stepped on the ice. That was the biggest celebration when you fell all the time, skating a little bit forward and I didn’t fall down. So I think that was my first memory. If you think about games, I think ’95 when Finland was in the World Championship, that’s the first memory I remember about the hockey and winning something.”

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Weise makes long-awaited impact as Blackhawks rout Blues to force Game 7

Dale Weise celebrates his go-ahead goal (Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dale Weise was acquired by the Blackhawks at the trade deadline with the belief that he would round out the third- or fourth-line and give Chicago the depth that makes a difference in the post-season. However, Weise has been scratched in three of six games in the first-round series against the St. Louis Blues, has averaged less than 10 minutes of ice time per game and hadn’t won coach Joel Quenneville’s favor. Well, that may have changed Saturday night.

Weise didn’t play much — he logged just 8:44 in Game 6 — but when he did he was incredibly effective. He used his speed on the forecheck to create opportunities, threw his weight around without running out of position and he was one of the more noticeable Blackhawks on the ice in the first period, even when things looked bleak as Chicago fell behind 3-1. But Weise’s biggest moment came with less then four minutes remaining in the second frame, after Artem Anisimov and Trevor van Riemsdyk had scored to help the Blackhawks claw back into the contest.

With the Blackhawks chasing the puck in the Blues’ zone, Artemi Panarin lifted the stick right out of Kevin Shattenkirk’s hand, and Weise came in to bowl over the Blues defenseman over as the puck laid in his feet. Weise then poked the puck behind the goal to Panarin, moved to the front of the net, opened himself up and called for a pass from the Russian rookie. He spotted Weise, and the winger with one of the best nicknames in all of hockey, ‘Dutch Gretzky,’ one-timed what would be the game-winning goal past Brian Elliott. Read more

Angry TV announcer versus NHL: who’s right in debate over crazy-late start times?

Pat Foley. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hockey fans living in the central time zone and anywhere east of there may one day remember spring of 2016 as The Red-Eye Playoffs. The need to stagger games has produced some late start times, and we’re not just talking the usual Pacific Division fare that starts at 10:30 p.m. ET and only stops diehard East Coasters from going to bed.

This year’s post-season has produced the oddity of Central-time games being treated like West Coast telecasts. Game 5 of the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues’ Central Division semifinal Thursday started at 8:42 p.m. central and 9:42 p.m. eastern for the third time in the series. The wildly entertaining game was too good to turn off, so it sucked a lot of sleep from a lot of people. Among that group: Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play personality Pat Foley. He decided he was fed up with the scheduling and unleashed this rant, mid-broadcast, before a commercial break cut him off:

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Blackhawks stay alive as Kane’s wraparound steals overtime thriller for Chicago

Patrick Kane (Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks will live to see another game.

With their backs against the wall in a must-win Game 5, the Blackhawks stayed alive for at least one more contest thanks to a wraparound goal by Patrick Kane three minutes into the second overtime. Kane used a slick move to get by sprawling Blues defenders before slipping the puck on goal only to watch it trickle wide, but the Blackhawks winger beat his check — and Blues goaltender Brian Elliott — around the net in order to sweep the loose puck home.

From his reaction alone it’s not hard to believe the winner was a relief for Kane, who had yet to find the back of the net in the playoffs following the best goal-scoring season of his career. It’s no doubt been frustrating for the Blackhawks star, but the same could be said for teammate and captain Jonathan Toews. Read more

Why the Blackhawks playing Kane and Toews on same line is desperate – and brilliant

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks are one seriously wounded animal right now, trailing their Central Division semifinal to the St. Louis Blues 3-1 and venturing to enemy territory facing elimination after dropping consecutive games at the United Center. Not the result we’re accustomed to from the Madhouse on Madison, especially against a Blues team known for choking in its current era of regular season dominance.

Andrew Shaw will not play tonight in Game 5, justifiably suspended for his homophobic slur in Game 4, creating a hole in coach Joel Quenneville’s lineup. Shaw, a versatile agitating forward who can play center or the wing, the first line or the fourth, has been as effective as any Chicago player in the series so far. His four points in four games tie Duncan Keith for the team lead. Shaw is also one of only three Hawks forwards – three! – with a goal in the series. So his presence will be missed.

Quenneville is painted into a corner right now, and he’s decided to declare a Code Red: he’s busting out the big guns and reuniting superstars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to form a superline. The Game 5 line deployment, as posted by crackerjack beat reporter Mark Lazerus:

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Rumor Roundup: In search for defense, Oilers should target Dennis Wideman

Lyle Richardson
Dennis Wideman (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is expected to acquire some much-needed depth for his D-corps this summer. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests Chiarelli should cast his eye south toward his club’s rival in Calgary.

Appearing on Sportsnet 960 last Friday, Friedman wonders if the Flames and blueliner Dennis Wideman might be ready to part ways. He feels Wideman could get an opportunity for a fresh start with the Oilers.

Friedman points out Chiarelli acquired and later traded Wideman during his tenure as Boston Bruins GM. While the two clubs rarely make deals, he points out the Flames acquired Ladislav Smid from the Oilers a couple of years ago.

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Yes, Andrew Shaw should be suspended for his embarrassing actions (Updated)

Ryan Kennedy
Andrew Shaw (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve all seen the video by now, right? We all know that Chicago’s Andrew Shaw bowled over Jay Bouwmeester for no reason, cost his team a chance to come back in a crucial game and then blew up at the refs. He flipped them off with both middle fingers and it really looks like he swore and directed a homophobic slur towards someone more than once – even tapping his stick on the penalty box glass to make sure the object of his derision was paying attention.

So what should happen to Andrew Shaw?

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Video appears to show Blackhawks’ Shaw directing homophobic slur at officials

Jared Clinton
Andrew Shaw (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Blackhawks winger Andrew Shaw could find himself facing supplemental discipline after he was caught using what appears to be a homophobic slur during Tuesday’s broadcast of Game 4 between Chicago and the St. Louis Blues.

Shaw’s penalty, and the subsequent vitriol towards the officiating crew, came with 2:04 remaining in the third period. After the Blackhawks had drawn within one with little more than five minutes remaining, Shaw took an incredibly ill-advised interference minor and left Chicago down a man with time winding down. As he skated to the penalty box, Shaw made a middle-finger gesture to the referees, yelled about the penalty call and then appeared to shout a homophobic slur at the crew. It was caught by the Blues broadcast. Read more