Antti Raanta (via NHL/YouTube)
Rangers backup Antti Raanta talks about his goalie inspirations while growing up in Finland.
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."
Hockey Inspirations: "Of course, lots of Finnish goalies. You just want to see those games, what they're doing. I think every goalie is a good inspiration for me, you can see a little bit of different things that they're doing so that's one thing."
Last Book Read: "[Laughs] Oh, I think it was that soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish player."
Current Car: "I was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee."
First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: "It was the Finnish goalie who played in '95 when they won the World Championship, he came to play in my hometown after that - Jarmo Myllys."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Well, of course, when we won the Finnish Championship 2013, when I was playing goalie - I was the No. 1 goalie. So that - it's a great feeling when you can be on the ice, when the last buzzer sounds and the team is jumping on you. But, of course, last summer with the Blackhawks Stanley Cup, so that's the dream for everybody. I would say both championships."
Most Painful Moment: "I don't know if there has been so painful moments, but of course losing. I was in World Championship and we lost first semi-final to Sweden and then we lost the bronze medal game to U.S., so I think that was tough. After our Finnish championship. So it was first you were celebrating championship, then you go to the national team and you lose a couple of games. It felt really bad at that moment."
First Job: "I was a cleaner at a nuclear power plant."
Most Memorable Save: "I think it was 2013 in finals in Finnish league. It was triple overtime and it was a shot came from blue line, I made a pad save and the rebound came wide and the guy was there and shot the puck and just, with my hand there and it came straight to my glove and I made a save from the goal line. Twenty minutes later we won the game in overtime. So it was 110 minutes played and we won the game."
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "I really like baseball and golf right now. Baseball is pretty fun to watch and golf is what you want to play in the summer time."
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "I think that's always when you get pulled from the net. That's always an embarrassing moment. Last year, we played against Phoenix in home game, it was delayed penalty for Phoenix so I got a chance to skate to the bench. And I came like three or four steps before the bench, I fell down straight to my face [smiles]. And I was still sliding on the ice. I think there was somebody who did see it from the game and they put it on Twitter. It was such a good laugh about the whole thing. We won the game so nobody cared about the whole thing. It was fun to watch it later."
Strangest Game: "I think there has been a couple of times at games that both teams changed goalies. I think the score ended up 7-6 or something like that. I remember I was first on the bench and I remember I was on the ice and we lost the game 7-6 and both teams used both goalies, so I think that was pretty funny - after the game."
Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: "Of course, Jordan Spieth, young guy in golf. Who else? Let's say Ricky Fowler and Novak Djokovic in tennis."
People Qualites Most Admired: "Happy faces. Lots of laughs, that's what I am. Sometimes you have to be a little bit serious about everything. But keep smiling with good attitude with everything. Happy faces and good things happen to you when you're in a good mood."