When Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon chose to trade Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks, he did so because he believed that Robin Lehner was going to step up and become the team’s undisputed number one netminder.
While it was a decent bet from McCrimmon given Lehner’s impressive track record, the move hasn’t paid off as he had imagined. The 30-year-old goaltender, who many believed would be in the hunt for the Vezina Trophy this season, has had major consistency issues through the first quarter of 2021-22.
His numbers prove that, as he has a questionable 3.08 goals against average (GAA) along with a .909 save percentage (SV%). Those numbers are not good enough for a goalie many believe is among the game’s best.
In Lehner’s defense, the Golden Knights have been ravaged by injuries this season. As a result, they haven’t dominated play in games like most were expecting heading into the season, and Lehner has had to face plenty of work. Still, he has proven in the past he is capable of playing much better than he has to this point.
As mentioned, it is a consistency issue right now with Lehner more than anything else. He has had some good games this season, but he has failed to put together great performances in bunches.
Lehner’s inconsistencies were on display in Thursday night’s game versus the Anaheim Ducks, one in which he allowed five goals on just 30 shots in a 6-5 shootout loss. This was a game in which his team deserved a better fate, but he was simply unable to come up with timely saves to preserve the win. To his credit, he acknowledged post game that he needs to be better.
“We had a couple of unlucky bounces but I can’t say that anymore,” Lehner said. “I’ve just got to stop the puck.”
Given the fact that it is still early into the 2021-22 season, it isn’t time to hit the panic button on Lehner just yet. With that being said, he will need to get going here right away here if he hopes to give his team a chance to get back to the top of the Pacific Division, one in which the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are running away with right now.
Perhaps head coach Peter DeBoer may need to go with back up goaltender Laurent Brossoit for a few games to give Lehner a chance to reset.
Share This Article
Support independent news coverage by sharing on your platforms