Robin Lehner has been a nothing but gift to the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans.
There is just so much negativity surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks right now. Of course, that is understandable when you find yourself toward the bottom of the standings even though a year ago the team was deemed a “retooling” team on the fly.
You can really understand why fans are angry about the retooling nonsense that was spewed when the Chicago Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville over a year ago. A retooling on the fly symbolized a month or so of bad hockey, not two wasted seasons for a team deemed “playoff caliber”.
Anyways, you get the point. Things have been pretty negative for the Blackhawks. However, there is still one bright spot lately.
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When the Blackhawks signed Robin Lehner this offseason, many fans were rather confused. Now, here we are two months into the season and all I have to say is Robin Lehner is a gift from the hockey gods.
Lehner is a player who is not afraid to speak his mind, or try and spark something from his teammates. Media and fans alike read into his “wake up” comments to his teammates when he was pulled against the Avalanche, yet no one understands what Lehner was saying.
Lehner was not trying to blame the players or trying to say he is better than them. Instead, he is just saying they can play better as a team, something the Blackhawks have struggled with so far this season.
Chicago has relied heavily on Robin Lehner to steal games for the Blackhawks. He stole a point from the Arizona Coyotes a few nights ago, and even submitted his application for save of the year during that game. Just watch the incredible save Lehner made during the game on Sunday night.
Sure, I know that was just one game and one great save. However, when you look at the numbers, the play of Robin Lehner is actually very remarkable.
In games that Robin Lehner has won, or lost in OT, he has faced 38 or more shots in 8 out of the 10 games. This includes an incredible 53-save effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs and a 44-save effort against the Coyotes en route to a shootout loss.
Yes, Robin Lehner might not have the best shootout numbers, but rather than scrutinize those numbers, how about we scrutinize the Blackhawks for failing to end the game earlier? Robin Lehner has been forced to stand on his head all season, and things will not change.
We owe Corey Crawford a lot, but at the end of the day, I want to see Robin Lehner in the net every night. He is a great teammate who is not afraid to speak his mind about tough topics around in the league.
Lehner is guaranteed to be in Chicago until the end of the season. I believe it is time to re-sign him before he realizes he might have an easier time winning with a team like San Jose.
I hope Robin Lehner continues to shine in the NHL for a long time. At only 28 years of age, he still has some great years of hockey ahead of him. Hopefully, all in a Chicago Blackhawks’ sweater, of course.