Mikko Rantanen shocks fans with postgame interview, fires back at teammate’s father for ‘talking s—’ about him

Mikko Rantanen has been a force during the last couple of seasons.

After scoring 66 points in the shortened Covid-19 season in 2020-21, he had 92 points the following year. The last year was his career-best, with a whopping 55 goals and 105 points.

Rantanen has still been a point-per-game player this season, but fans have been worried about his production.

He entered Monday’s matchup with the Calgary Flames on a nine-game goalless drought. This has been a hot discussion in Finland, where Rantanen is one of the country’s biggest sporting stars.

Earlier this week, Ismo Lehkonen, an analyst for Finnish broadcasting company YLE, suggested that Rantanen had hit a wall and didn’t give himself the best preparations during the summer.

”Could it be that Mikko has met a wall for the moment. He hasn’t had a very good summer. Lots of time-consuming events, had to be in Helsinki and other things. He was probably intentionally winding down after some heavy years, but maybe he wasn’t doing sports in the same way as before,” Lehkonen said.

DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 12: Artturi Lehkonen (62) of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his goal on an assist from Mikko Rantanen (96) against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at Ball Arena in Denver on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

He added that Rantanen has started to show some frustration and pain.

”It seems a little forced,” he said.

It’s nothing new that analysts criticize stars, but what’s so special about this is that Ismo Lehkonen is the father of Artturi Lehkonen, a teammate of Rantanen.

Source: X

Mikko Rantanen had his perhaps best game of the season on Monday night, as he had one goal and two assists in the 6-5 win over the Flames.

Postgame, Rantanen sent a clear message to Lehkonen’s father.

“One of our Finnish NHL players’ dad was talking s— about me in media, that I didn’t train last summer like I used to,” Rantanen said. “He was making things up. That was for him. If you talk s—, it’s going to come back at you.”

Source: X

Rantanen said reading the comments gave him the extra energy needed, but postgame, he said that everything is fine between him and Artturi Lehkonen.

“Me and Art are totally good friends and teammates,” he said.

He also claimed that the quotes in YLE were ’not true at all.’

“I know I haven’t been playing well,” Rantanen continued. “If people want to criticize, it’s totally fine. … But if you start making things up off-ice, that’s when I get mad.”

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