A feeling of being disrespected may be at the heart of the rumour that Vegas goalie Robin Lehner is shutting things down for the season, Elliotte Friedman said during the 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday.
“Lehner, who was playing hurt, was upset at some of the criticism he was receiving, and also being pulled the other night, and I believed he informed the Golden Knights he was going to have surgery, and shut it down,” Friedman said.
Friedman said things are still very much up in the air, with conversations taking place between Lehner, his agent, and the team. The team did say Saturday that they were hopeful Lehner would play Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks. Lehner did not practise on Saturday.
“I guess we’re going to find out (Sunday) night and see for sure where all this is going,” Friedman said.
Lehner played five games after returning on April 3 from what the team termed a “lower-body injury,” which is believed to be his knee.
Although Lehner struggled with an .889 save percentage in five appearances since his return, backup Logan Thompson has won seven of his past 10 decisions, with a save percentage of .922.
Lehner’s play was criticized by head coach Peter DeBoer, and he was pulled after the first period of Wednesday’s overtime win over the Washington Capitals after stopping 12 of 13 shots.
News of Lehner having surgery got out on Thursday, which led to DeBoer on Friday denying this was happening.
The Golden Knights were two points back of the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot in the West, going into Saturday night’s games.