Call me crazy (you won’t be the first), but Robin Lehner‘s difficult AHL debut may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
In case you hadn’t heard, Lehner was pretty much shelled in the Binghamton Senators 7-1 loss to the visiting Hershey Bears on Friday night.
From Ottawa, we didn’t see the game, but from reporter descriptions, we can picture the big rookie sprawling, moving a bit too much, perhaps trying a bit too hard, as the professional AHL shooters took full advantage.
Keep in mind, the kid was rusty. He sat around Ottawa for days waiting to get his visa papers so he could work in the U.S. His last pre-season game was Sept. 28 against Buffalo, and so he went nearly three weeks between games.
Here’s why giving up seven goals in his debut is not such a bad thing in the long run: it should help temper expectations that with Pascal Leclaire injured YET AGAIN, there shouldn’t be this idea that Lehner is going to ride in on his white horse and be the Senators saviour.
With Mike Brodeur out with a concussion, Lehner was recalled on Saturday to back up Brian Elliott as the Senators visit the Montreal Canadiens.
The plan should be to get Lehner back to the AHL as quickly as possible. He needs to play. And he needs time to develop in the AHL, rather than being thrown into the fire at the NHL level, trying to bail out the Senators and their recurring goaltending nightmares.