Robin Lehner is never shy to voice his opinion. The 26-year-old Swedish netminder has been known to go off the handle on the ice over the years, and as a disappointing season for him and the Buffalo Sabres continued Wednesday, Lehner’s frustration boiled over.
With the Sabres a little more than one minute away from earning a win over the New York Islanders, Lehner made what looked like a sprawling glove save on Justin Bailey to keep the Sabres out in front 2-1. But the save was reviewed by NHL hockey operations in Toronto and overturned as it appeared Lehner’s glove and the puck inside it had fully crossed the goal line.
Afterwards, Lehner sounded off on the ruling.
“I guess it’s something in Buffalo waters, you know?” Lehner told reporters after the game.
“I know Toronto already made up their mind it was a goal before they shot the puck. It’s just how it works in this league.”
The loss was Buffalo’s 11th in its past 14 games and sunk their season record to 9-20-8 to sit last place in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres are just three points ahead of Arizona for last place in the NHL.
Lehner himself hasn’t been bad this season, sitting with a .915 save percentage and 2.74 goals-against average.
“Everything is predetermined against us,” he continued. “It’s not to be sulking or anything. We’re not where we want to be or anything like that. It’s just how it is. It’s just how it is. The Islanders are in a playoff spot, and it is what it is.
“We’re one minute away from winning, 2-1, and we lose, 3-2.”
Lehner is in his third season with the Sabres after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators. They haven’t finished better than seventh in the Atlantic Division in that time — Buffalo’s last playoff appearance came in 2010-11.