Monday, February 7, 2011

Biron Will Start vs Detroit; Right Move For Sliding Rangers

Al Bello/Getty Images
Having gone winless in their last four games (0-3-1) the New York Rangers are facing a huge game tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, and one of the big questions was would it be Martin Biron or Henrik Lundqvist in the net.  The team is dire need of a win and two points.  The fact that the Rangers do not play against until Friday only increases the importance of this game for team morale and maybe more importantly what could be a sense of panic to change things up.  With those facts being as they are, the best move for the team against Detroit would be for Martin Biron to back between the pipes.  It appears based on this morning's  optional skate, per Andrew Gross, that John Tortorella agrees with that assessment, since Martin Biron was the first goalie off. 
I am not trying to start a goalie controversy or anything of that ilk because Henrik Lundqvist is the unquestioned number one goalie for the Rangers.  With the team in desperate need of a win, the team must put his best lineup on the ice and right now Biron is playing better than Lundqvist.  This is not a vote of no confidence in Lundqvist either.  This is simply letting the hot goalie play while the number one gets extra work to fix the mechanical things going wrong in his game.

This will not be the first time this season that coach John Tortorella has employed this kind of tactic as a way to get Henrik back on track either.  Back in November when Lundqvist was going through up and down performances coach John Tortorella turned to Biron for two straight starts to give Lundqvist the better part of a week to work on his game in practice.  It was after that move that Lundqvist went on his tear for the better part of the next two months. By playing Biron against Detroit it would give Lundqvist a full week off from the time of his last start until the game against Atlanta on Friday.
The easy choice would have been to go back to Lundqvist because he is the number one guy, but the right choice for tonight is to let Biron, the goalie who is playing better, be the man between the pipes.  The team brought Biron in to be a backup they were not afraid to use in any situation and tonight is proof of that, so instead of taking the negative on Lundqvist, let us appreciate the quality Biron has given that Tortorella can make this move.

As expected, Henrik Lundqvist took the decision with professionalism.  Per the Rangers official twitter:

Lundqvist: "This is big for the have two great goalies...Marty is playing well"
"this is my time to work hard and get good practice in...I want to be a part of as many wins as possible"
You can bet that Henrik will be read come Friday.