Followers of the Golden Knights had one query on their thoughts for a lot of the group’s 7-1 defeat by the hands of the Avalanche: Why is Robin Lehner beginning over Marc-Andre Fleury?
Fleury had began all seven of Vegas’ first-round video games towards the Wild, however coach Peter DeBoer pivoted to Lehner in internet for Recreation 1 of the Golden Knights vs. Avalanche sequence.
DeBoer had his causes for making the swap. And because the veteran coach defined, it was the “excellent alternative” to offer Fleury a little bit of a break.
“The choice to go along with Robin was [Fleury] simply performed seven video games in 14 days, and an emotional Recreation 7,” DeBoer stated, per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. “It was an ideal alternative in our minds to make use of our different starter. That is been a energy of ours all yr. We wished Robin to get in a recreation and keep sharp, in case we wanted him. So there was loads of rationale to it.”
On paper, that argument could make some sense. In spite of everything, Lehner is a stable goalie who performed effectively throughout the common season. And Fleury is 36, so a little bit further relaxation might assist him.
Even nonetheless although, Lehner hadn’t performed in 20 days earlier than being on the ice Sunday. That was at all times going to make him a dangerous begin. Plus, NHL groups have a tendency to stay with a one-goalie strategy throughout the postseason, particularly if they’ve a goalie that is taking part in effectively at their disposal.
Fleury actually was doing that towards Minnesota. He posted a .931 save proportion and 1.71 objectives towards common within the first spherical of the playoffs whereas main his group to a sequence victory. And in 5 of the seven video games, Fleury allowed two or fewer objectives.
Additionally, whereas Lehner performed effectively throughout the common season, Fleury’s nonetheless bested him in each main statistical class.
|Marc Andre-Fleury||Stat||Robin Lehner|
|1.98||Targets In opposition to Common||2.29|
So naturally, after Lehner’s disastrous playoff debut, the questions got here pouring in about DeBoer’s resolution to begin him. However DeBoer refused responsible Lehner for the seven objectives that went in.
“The sport tonight wasn’t about Robin Lehner,” DeBoer stated. “We did not play effectively sufficient in entrance of him.”
Regardless of that endorsement, it appears inevitable that Fleury shall be between the pipes Wednesday night time when the Avalanche and Golden Knights sq. off in Recreation 2. We’ll see then if the 4 full relaxation days assist him keep more energizing towards a high-flying Colorado offense.