Raanta or Lundqvist?
In the past three NHL games, the New York Rangers have played Antti Raanta as their Starting Goal Keeper while their veteran Henrik "King Hankie" Lundqvist sits in his gear on the Rangers bench.
Is Lundqvist hurt? Some may ask. No, Lundqvist is perfectly fine. It is just the fact that Raanta has been playing superior in the past three Rangers games that has earned him the starting spot so far in his second season with the Rangers, fourth season overall in the NHL.
Raanta's performance over the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that originally drafted him, has to be his personal best in my opinion that has earned him the spot as he made a total of 26 saves and not allowing a goal as a goal was called off in the 1-0 Overtime Rangers win last Friday night, recording one of two shutouts of the season.
Last night (Sunday December 11th) , the Rangers hosted the New Jersey Devils with Raanta in goal and again, he shined in the goal box as he saved 19 shots on goal and didn't allow a goal in the 5-0 Rangers win, which Raanta earned his 2nd shutout of the season and his sixth career shutout overall at 27 years old.
As of this morning (Monday December 12th), Antti Raanta was named NHL's second star of the week behind the Philadelphia Flyers' Jakub Voracek as Raanta has a 3-0-0 and 0.33 goals-against average so far in the month of December.
As Antti Raanta looks to stay perfect in December with 2 shutout wins and a win with 1 goal allowed, the Rangers will face Chicago Tuesday night at home at MSG where it is uncertain who they will start at goalie, but based on Raanta's performance in the last game against the Blackhawks last week, it seems that he will get the start for the Rangers unless Head Coach Alain Vigneault decides to rest him and start Lundqvist. When comparing the goal keepers at Home, Raanta is 3-1 with 11 goals allowed while Lundqvist is 8-3 with 26 Goals allowed (NHL.com)