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New York Islanders Three Takeaways from Preseason Game Five

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Michael Dal Colle is selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders during the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Michael Dal Colle is selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders during the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 18: Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders makes the first period stick save against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Robin Lehner Played Well

After a not so great start the last time around, Robin Lehner made it right with a good performance between the pipes. Lehner might have a stinker every now and then during the season, but it seems that he’ll be able to be that NHL average goalie during the 2018-19 season.

Against a B-squad Philadelphia Flyers team, Lehner was excellent. With a 0.926 SV% and only allowing two goals, one on the power-play and the other on a breakaway, Lehner looked like the goalie the Islanders need this season.

Not perfect. But just above average.

And that’s perfectly acceptable. Managing our expectations with Robin Lehner, and goaltending as a whole will be key.

We shouldn’t expect Robin Lehner to immediately return to that 0.920 SV% goalie from two years ago. While it’s obviously possible, we should expect him to have good nights like last night against the Flyers, and some nights where he just doesn’t have it.

We should be expecting for a goals against average of just below 2.70 and a save percentage just above 0.910.

The key for Lehner was to simply be positionally sound. The less scrambling the better. As a 6’4″ goalie his strength is less about his ability to move around the crease and perform acrobatics like Jonathan Quick, it’s to be in the best position possible and let his large frame get in the way of the shot.

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The New York Islanders will get great value out of Robin Lehner with his single year $1.5 million contract. He should provide slightly above average goaltending. Along with Barry Trotz’s defensive system, the Islanders could very well surprise in 2018-19.

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