Rosen added that Alain “Vigneault said this game was targeted for him all along based on plan he made with Lundqvist and Allaire.”
Raanta came to the Rangers via trade over the summer and should enter the season with a lot of motivation after he lost the back-up job to Scott Darling in the playoffs.
Losing the job to Darling meant a missed opportunity to grab game time, with Darling grabbing the reins early in the playoffs. It also contributed to Raanta being left off the Stanley Cup engraving. Raanta qualified for inclusion even though he didn’t touch the ice during the playoffs. Though reports say it’s unrelated, he did mention in an offseason interview that he briefly cheered against the Blackhawks in the playoffs. Raanta said after that interview that the quote was out of context and that it was just momentary thing that happened when he was frustrated he wasn’t playing and knew he could be playing games in the AHL instead of sitting out as a black ace, but that his frustration quickly dissipated once he joined the Blackhawks.
Raanta will be given a chance to thrive and earn a larger role in the league in New York. It’s a defense-first team that has a tendency to make goalies look good through solid structure.