Lehner has had a grueling summer

The goaltender looks forward to the new look Sabres

Paul Hamilton
August 25, 2017 - 11:47 am

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Robin Lehner got on the ice for the first time on Thursday. For the second straight summer, Lehner has been working out at Buffalo MMA and he looks like he's in great shape. Lehner is going to show up to training camp with a ton of weight off and in top physical condition.

After doing this last off season, Lehner had a .920 save percentage in 59 games. Lehner has played 80 games in Buffalo and has a .921 save percentage. Getting in this kind of shape has given the Sabres number one goalie a lot of confidence, “I've got nothing to prove to you. Since I came here there have been some ups and downs. I've been injured, but I've been a steady over 92 percent and its something I want to keep improving on and hopefully we can just tighten it up as a team this year and get some more team success.”

Lehner was brought to Buffalo by Tim Murray, but now the GM is Jason Botterill. Lehner signed a one-year deal because this management wants to see what they have. Lehner said he has no problem with that, “I think new management comes in, they want to re-evaluate and I have full respect for that.”

“We went into the summer looking for some type of term, but I'm fine with a one-year deal. I have full confidence in my abilities. Professionally for my future it makes more sense. I wanted a long term, but my agents were always telling me to do a one-year deal here.”

Lehner has been through many changes in his career, both here and in Ottawa. The goaltender is cautiously optimistic, “I'm excited to get to know everyone and the new direction. I think we're going to come in prepared for training camp.”

The Sabres have brought in Marco Scandella, Nathan Beaulieu and Victor Antipin to replace Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson. I asked Lehner if he's looking forward to seeing his new D and he said he had no issues with the guys last year, “I had no problems with the defensemen, but the problem was we really didn't know how to play. It's not just the defensemen, that's a common misconception, it's how we play as a team.”

“If you watched the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year all the good teams like Pittsburgh, everyone defends, everyone comes back and everyone plays as a five-man unit and its fast forward and fast back to the defensive zone and I think that's what Phil wants. He doesn't want us to play slow, he wants to play fast and everyone attacks and everyone defends and we didn't do that last year.”

Lehner would stand up after games and talk about how the coaches would lay out a plan and they wouldn't follow it. He would say how they played was disrespectful to the coaches. With Dan Bylsma and Murray being fired, he felt personally responsible, “It's always hard to see people go, but its a professional sport and if you don't get results, things like this happen and I take that personally because if I could've played better, than maybe it wouldn't have put them in that position and if other players played better, you know, we talked a lot about that last year when we don't play well and do things right, there's consequences to it.”

Lehner played 59 games last season. I think that's perfect for a number one goalie. That gives Chad Johnson 20 to 25 games. 

Hear what Lehner had to say below:

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