Robin Lehner day-to-day with hip injury for Sabres
Through the first two months of the 2016-17 season, Buffalo Sabres starting netminder Robin Lehner had been off to a great start.
The 6 foot 5 giant, who reported to dropping from about 250 lbs to around 235 lbs over the summer, used his newfound build to ease some of the burden on his body in net. Add that to an adjustment in his movements – he reported to InGoal earlier in the year that he’s worked on more conservative motions and depth – and things were looking bright.
“Just moving less, smaller movements, a lot more small shuffles,” Lehner said. “I feel like I can hold the angles and let pucks come to me more. I’m not over moving. But I still read and react a lot in my game and [goaltending coach Andrew Allen] lets me read. He doesn’t want to take that away from me.”
Unfortunately, he may have to proceed with caution heading into December.
It was confirmed on Wednesday morning by Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma that Lehner – who boasts a 5-7-3 record and a .921 save percentage in all situations – is currently day-to-day with what’s only being described as a hip injury.
For the moment, Bylsma reports that the team is waiting to learn more before recalling a goaltender from the AHL’s Rochester Americans.
Lehner is hoping the injury is hoping to be back by Thursday’s game, but there’s no guarantee. He was reportedly injured during the team’s first period against the Ottawa Senators, when it seems that he was backed into on Senators forward Mike Hoffman’s first goal.
Drafted 46th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2009, Lehner was dealt to the Sabres in the summer of 2015 to serve as the new number one for the Atlantic Division club.
His start with the team was shaky at best, though. He made it less than a game into the 2015-16 regular season before losing a chunk of his year to an ankle injury. That, plus rehab for the injury, left him with a partial season that was disappointing at best.
The hope, of course, is that this is a short-term issue for Lehner and he’ll be back sooner rather than later. If it’s something more long-term, though, the team will have to see if backup Anders Nilsson’s good numbers are sustainable as a number one – and if they aren’t, they’ll have to test out prospect Linus Ullmark again, seeing if he can serve as a good stopgap for a second consecutive year.