In explaining his decision to start Antti Raanta for the fourth straight game, Alain Vigneault said today "it's as simple as Antti deserves to play." (MSG)
Vigneault said that he has been in constant communication with Henrik Lundqvist and said that Lundqvist is all about the team. (MSG)
He added "my first year, this sort of happened in December, he went three games without playing, but when we were making that playoff push to the Final, I don't remember anybody bringing up the fact that Hank had missed three games in December." (MSG)
Following Lundqvist being out for those three games in December 2013, he named the NHL's Third Star of the Week in early January and went on a 5-1-1 run with a .237 GAA and .926 save percentage.
Adam Rotter: Vigneault's explanation on Raanta is perfect, he absolutely "deserves" to play tonight after his performance the last three games. Alain Vigneault knows goalie controversies and this is no controversy. It would probably be a bigger deal if Lundqvist was the one starting tonight and the Rangers put the goalie who hasn't allowed a goal in 2 and a half games on the bench for no reason.
This is still Henrik Lundqvist's team and if history is any indication, Lundqvist will come back in and go on a run that will shelve any and all talk of someone other than #30 tending goal. Antti Raanta is a very good goalie who is on a hot streak right now but it's only a matter of time before he resumes his regular role as the backup and Henrik Lundqvist is the one leading the Rangers onto the ice.