It was turning into one of the most fascinating story lines of the season, but it has been derailed at least for the time being.
For a while it looked like backup goaltender Antti Raanta was making a very real case for the starters job in New York City after consistently outplaying New York Rangers superstar Henrik Lundqvist this season. While there were those who rightfully doubted that Lundqvist would ever be cast out as the true number one in net, the gap in performance was undeniable.
Unfortunately for fans of the team that battle won't play out until after the All-Star break, Rangers insider Steve Zipay of Newsday is now reporting that Raanta will be out until after the All-Star festivities with the mysterious lower body injury that forced him to the sidelines.
That leaves five games for Lundqvist to once again show that he remeains one of the NHL's most dominant netminders, one worthy of the starting job in such a high pressure market. To be fair though that will require a big step up from his current 2.72 goals against average and .907 save percentage this season, numbers that pale in comparison to Raanta's 2.24 GAA and .923 SV%.