Arizona Coyotes' Goalie Antti Raanta leading team surge

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Goalie Antti Raanta has led the revival of the Desert Dogs push to no longer being a pushover. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Goalie Antti Raanta has led the revival of the Desert Dogs push to no longer being a pushover. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Coyotes were a debacle in the first half of the season. They seemed to be a ship with no direction. But in the second half, they're one of the best teams in the NHL, going 13-5-2 in their last twenty games.

Goalie Antti Raanta has led the revival of the Desert Dogs push to no longer being a pushover.

"You knew that you were going to get the chance to be the guy and you want to kind of show everybody that you can do it. You know it's been going good," said Raanta,

Ranked in the top ten in save percentage, Raanta's play and clubhouse leadership fueled the surge after he publicly criticized the team after mounting losses.

"I think everyone had the same kind of attitude that enough is enough. And we started to play even better. We started to work things that we needed to work and now everyone is on the same line," said Raanta.

Enjoying the team's play in 2018, it hasn't been the easiest first year for Raanta in the desert. He was criticized by Coach Rick Tocchet for not coming to camp in better shape.

He also missed 31 games due to injuries and was held out of a game after being involved in a car accident on the 101.

"When your hurt and not be able to help the team it's tough for your mental side. Good learning experiment to also know what to do differently in the off-season and how to prepare the body for next season," said Raanta.

Family is very important to Raanta. On the back of his mask, you'll find the name of his daughter Evelyn and the date she was born.

"It's a big thing. It’s great to be a dad and every day is an adventure with the kids," said Raanta.

Raanta will be a free agent and there are talks the Coyotes want to re-sign him. He's interested in returning to a team he sees playoff worthy next season.

"It's a different place to be right now. Right now, we are doing the right things and it’s going to help us in the future for sure" said Raanta.

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