The Vegas Golden Knights traded Marc-Andre Fleury away this off-season to clear cap but, how will Robin Lehner hold up in goal without a star taking games away from him?
Your Vegas Golden Knights have done some remarkable things since the expansion draft in 2017. In 2017, the Knights had already became one of the best teams in hockey but after trading away their star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks, they will put their faith in Robin Lehner.
Lehner has been in the league since 2010 and has had a very solid career thus far. However, he has never played more than 59 games in a season. Lehner will be asked to take on a much bigger role this season, but given he’s never actually played more than 59 games, will he be able to handle it?
Robin Lehner has been in the league since 2010 and has done a good job at handling himself in goal. In Lehner’s career he’s started 301 games in which he has posted 9,034 saves, averaging 2.69 goals per game, and a save percentage of .918. However, he has always been able to rely on a backup to carry a secondary load.
Looking back to last season, the Knights has both Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner which made it easy on the Knights management. When it came to who they would start, it was as simple as playing the hot hand. If Fleury was playing but wasn’t performing, Lehner was there to take over. If Lehner was playing but wasn’t performing, Fleury was there to take over. With Fleury gone, it’s Lehner’s time to show he can play a full season.
Last season, Robin Lehner played in 19 games last season in which he posted the stats: 461 saves, 2.29 goals against average, and a save percentage of .913. Looking at Fleury’s stats last season, Fleury played in 36 games in which the Vezina trophy winner posted: 918 saves, 1.98 goals against average, and a save percentage of .928.
Without Fleury involved with the Knights, Lehner will be looking to play 65-70 games this season which is six more than his career high. However, after realizing what the Knights were going to expect of him, it was reported that he lost weight this off-season after struggling with drug and alcohol addiction the past three years. After multiple reports came out at training camp about his weight loss, he showed the fans that he was ready.
He showed up much slimmer which was something fans loved to see, but what it did for his game made them even more happy. Lehner was moving much quicker than last season, and he showed a lot more agility with his ability to make saves from tough angles.
In conclusion, Looking at what Lehner is capable of with him slimmed down, Lehner could definitely take on a bigger role and perform without Fleury. He’s been a very good goalie for years, now it’s his stage and his time to show the world what he can do.