Robin Lehner craves all the positives in his healthier and sober new life and, among them, is being on the cusp of a postseason run in which he may be the No. 1 goalie.
The Islanders can clinch their first playoff berth since 2016 with a win against the Sabres on Saturday night at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum and there’s some irony to that for Lehner, who feels he escaped all the negativity that surrounded him in Buffalo, particularly last season.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable, such good feelings,” said Lehner (23-12-5, 2.22 goals-against average, .926 save percentage), who made 33 saves to match his career high in victories as the Islanders rallied for a 5-4 win at Winnipeg on Thursday night.
“It’s a different feeling this year in general,” Lehner added. “We’re having fun. It’s a positive atmosphere. It’s not surrounded by negativity. That was one of the hard things when I was in Buffalo, just this cloud and atmosphere of negativity.”
The Islanders’ magic number is two, meaning any combination of points gained by them or lost by the ninth-place Canadiens, who play at Winnipeg on Saturday night.