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Raanta's play driving long-term options

With Henrik Lundqvist on the shelf for a couple weeks, the Rangers are now Antti Raanta's team. James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

If a goalie isn’t 6-foot-2 at a minimum, it’s hard to get work in today’s NHL. Ideally, your goalie is closer to 6-foot-4. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk is the Vezina favorite and he’s only re-enforcing this thought.

He’s 6-foot-6 and having a career season.

If there’s anyone who knows the impact of this trend well, it’s Rangers goalie Antti Raanta. He was living life just well as the backup goalie in Chicago, putting up a .936 save percentage during his final season with the Blackhawks, when Scott Darling came along in 2014. Raanta is (maybe) 6-foot. Darling is a 6-foot-6 redwood.

In describing how it went down, Raanta stretched his arm out to indicate someone of average height.

“When you’re here,” he said, before raising his arm to indicate someone much, much taller.

“And he’s here, and you’re battling against him…”

He doesn’t finish the thought. He doesn’t have to. We know who won that battle in Chicago. Darling has been great for the Blackhawks and will get a shot as a No. 1 goalie next season after his contract expires in Chicago.

Raanta is getting his shot now.