New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner doesn't think there is enough being done to protect goalies from opposing players and is ready to take matters into his own hands if they continue to barrel through his territory.
“This is a problem around the league that a lot of goalies get run into like that,” Lehner told reporters, including Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post. “Cannot complain about it, but maybe all the goalies should start protecting ourselves with our blockers and our sticks, and they shouldn’t call anything about that if we do it.”
The 27-year-old netminder was run over by Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk during the Islanders' 5-4 victory March 5. He left the contest with an upper-body injury and has not played since.
Lehner practiced with the team for the first time Wednesday and had some choice words for the Senators' young talent.
“Got to be honest, everyone always does it on purpose, which is fine. It’s part of hockey,” Lehner said. “But there are a few guys in the league who always do it intentionally on goalies. They’re just brought up and taught that way. It doesn’t matter if (Nelson) pushed on him or not, he’s coming into me, that’s just part of his game. I’m just happy I’m not out longer."
To add insult to injury, the Senators scored a goal on the play, prompting the Swede to voice his opinion on another issue he feels the league still has yet to solve.
“I think it’s a joke," Lehner said. “You look around at all the different hits and all the different stuff, it’s so inconsistent. Goalie interference and stuff like that, I’ve seen goals where players are holding goalies’ pads and sitting on them and it’s still a goal. So I don’t think they really know what they’re doing.”
Lehner has made his bid for the Vezina Trophy this season. Among netminders with a minimum of 30 games played, he ranks third with a .927 save percentage and second with a 2.19 goals-against average heading into Thursday's action.
Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.