With the conclusion of their final regular season game tonight, a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils at home, Carolina Hurricanes goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta have officially clinched the William M. Jennings Trophy. The award, frequently known just as the “Jennings,” is “given to the goalies ’having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it’ during the regular season” (link).
While the award is a tremendous accomplishment for the goaltenders who are fortunate enough to win it, many will say this is a team award. Teams who win the Jennings not only have great goaltending, but have a great defense to go along with it, limiting the number of dangerous chances their goaltenders have to see, and thus the number of goals they give up. Recent winners of this award include Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020-21, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins in 2019-20, and Lehner and Thomas Greiss of the New York Islanders in 2018-19. Though Raanta has not won the award before, Andersen has as a member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2015-16, sharing it with John Gibson.
This year, the Hurricanes have given up just 202 goals over their 82 games, an average of 2.46 goals per game. Interestingly, this was both Raanta and Andersen’s first season in Carolina, both having impressive years after being allowed to walk from their previous teams. Raanta posted a .913 save percentage and 2.43 goals-against average in 27 games this season, while Andersen carried a bulk of the playing time, tallying a .922 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average in 52 games. Not credited with the award, but also factoring in, is 22-year-old Pyotr Kochetkov, who played in three games for Carolina, starting two. Perhaps best of all for Carolina, is that they will have both goaltenders under contract next season at just $6.5MM combined, Andersen making $4.5MM and Raanta $2MM.