New York Islanders: Robin Lehner Is The Clear Starter
By Ian Miniero
The New York Islanders have had excellent goaltending this year. The Duo of Robin Lehner and Thomas Griess have both played twenty-six games and started twenty-four games this season. They have a combined .925% save percentage and 2.26 goals against average.
The New York Islanders current hot streak is due in no small part to the play of Robin Lehner. In December and January Lehner is 11-2 with a .947% save percentage and 1.31 goals against average.
Thomas Griess during those same months is 6-4 with a .920% save percentage and 2.31 goals against average. Both have been great, but it’s time to pick an unequivocal starter.
Lehner has settled into the game that he wants to play in his last ten plus starts. He looks focused and composed in the net no doubt in part due to coaching tandem of Piero Greco and Mitch Korn. Their emphasis has been to get him to be less frenetic in net stay square and have his glove and trapper in the right place not flailing mindlessly.
Lehner Taking The Reins
Lehner you could argue has been the feel-good story of the year in the NHL this season. Not offered a contract by Buffalo at the end of last year Lehner was tossed away and labeled a problem by Buffalo and no doubt some other teams.
His battles with Mental Health Issues and Alcoholism have been well documented and discussed bravely and openly by Lehner himself. Credit to Lehner and the team rallying around him this recent hot streak should culminate in Lehner beating Griess for the number job.
Lehner should play at least twenty-three times out of the remaining thirty-four games the New York Islanders have left.
You have Thomas Griess for another year after this one, and he should serve the remainder of this one as Lehner’s backup. Lehner is on a one year deal and is a UFA when the season ends. Ride him! Understand what you have with him this is the show me part of this one year contract they give him in the offseason.
It is trending towards a New York Islander playoff appearance this year. Have Lehner be your number one for the rest of season see how wise of a choice that is and check after the season if he warrants a new contract.