Henrik Lundqvist Benched for Antti Raanta: Latest Comments and Reaction

December 11th, 2016 by Timothy Rapp Leave a reply »
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Sunday that goalie Antti Raanta will get the start against the New Jersey Devils over incumbent starter Henrik Lundqvist.

"I love Hank, but I love the team more," Vigneault said, per the Blueshirt Bulletin.

Although it's the third straight game Lundqvist is sitting, Vigneault told Steve Cangialosi of MSG Networks, "This is about tonight."

Lundqvist, 34, is certainly slumping. He's gone 12-8-1 to start the season, and his 2.55 goals-against average and .912 save percentage are the worst marks of his career. Still, he's been one of the best goalies in the NHL for a decade and hadn't sat consecutive games when healthy since December 2013, according to Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post.

But despite Lundqvist's pedigree, Raanta—7-1-0 with a 1.83 GAA and a .939 save percentage—has been playing at a higher level in 2016.

"He’s been the Rangers’ best player for quite some time, and he’s going to continue to be," Vigneault said of Lundqvist on Friday, per Cyrgalis. "At this time ...

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