Lehner tempers top tandem talk: ‘There’s lots left to prove’

Finally, Robin Lehner is comfortable enough to have set down some firm roots in Ottawa, buying Daniel Alfredsson’s old home in west Ottawa.

Lehner tempers top tandem talk: ‘There’s lots left to prove’
Goalie Craig Anderson chats with Robin Lehner. (JULIE OLIVER/OTTAWA CITIZEN)

Finally, Robin Lehner is comfortable enough to have set down some firm roots in Ottawa, buying Daniel Alfredsson’s old home in west Ottawa.
Yet after persevering through so much instability over the past three seasons, pulled this way and that on a seemingly neverending shuttle between Ottawa and Binghamton, the Ottawa Senators backup goaltender has matured considerably, learning not to get too far ahead of himself.
Lehner hasn’t lost one iota of his intensity, but he says he’s too early in his career to be given the kind of lofty status that many have heaped upon him. ESPN.com, among others, have suggested that the Craig Anderson/Lehner combination might represent the league’s top goaltending tandem.
“Well, it was a short season last season, for one,” said Lehner, who owned an outstanding goals against average of 2.20 and a save percentage of .936 during the 2013 campaign. “I’m pretty young, unproven. There’s lots left to prove. But I do think it’s a good combination because both me and Anderson, we work very hard and he has a lot of experience and I can learn a lot from him and try to get better.”
Considering all the attention – good and bad – that Lehner has received since the Senators drafted him 46th overall in the 2009 draft, it’s rather shocking to note that he has yet to win 10 games in the NHL. His career record is 9-9-4, including a 5-3-4 mark last season.
Lehner isn’t about to start demanding playing time. He knows he has to push Anderson to earn his starts – whether that ends up being 20 games, 30 games, or possibly more.
“I’m not used to the best scenarios and I’ve been put in tough spots before,” said Lehner, who was a big part of the awkward three-headed goaltending monster last season, which also featured Ben Bishop. “I expect to be put in tough spots again. It’s just about stopping the puck. We’ll see what I get and I’ll take what I get and try and make the best of it.”
In what is perhaps a sign of his growth, Lehner, now 22, hasn’t put a microscope on the Senators schedule, trying to figure out when and where he might play.
“Every hockey season, people say it’s a weird schedule. That’s just the way hockey is. It’s never in a routine. It’s not like football, where it’s the same every time. Especially this year, with the Olympics. You just get used to it and try to get what you get.”

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