In the three seasons since Robin Lehner last wore a New York Islanders jersey, the love affair between the goaltender and the fanbase has never waivered. Lehner has taken every chance he could get to fondly recall his time on Long Island and Islanders fans have continued to him support wherever he has ended up.
It will be another nearly two months before Lehner could potentially play on Long Island for the first time since playing for the Islanders, but whenever he faces his former team there are always positive memories that come along with it.
Sunday’s matchup between the Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights marked just the second time that Lehner has faced his former team. The first time came in 2019 when Robin Lehner was playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and helped them defeat the Isles 5-2.
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz certainly understands why Lehner has remained a fan favorite even long after his time with the team.
“I think what we tried to start on the Island two years ago, he was a big part of it,” Trotz said. “His story was very impactful. I think his story reflected the franchise, that’s the best way I could say it. He was a little bit broken and lost his way. He will recognize that and it took strength and it took some discipline and organization and all that to get to a really good place. That maybe reflected the franchise.
“We were a little bit broken. Trying to pick up the pieces after Tavers left and I think it mirrored the situation.”
🎥 Trotz Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/UC8lvsIoy1
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 24, 2021
Lehner played a critical role in the Islanders playoff run during the 2018-19 season. He was part of a goaltending duo with Thomas Greiss that won the Jennings Trophy and he was named the winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication that season.
Robin Lehner finished the regular season with a .930 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average.
“It was nice playing for him. I think he did a lot for us in terms of getting us on the right track,” Scott Mayfield said. “I think the Island, the fanbase and us, we did a lot for him. It’s a mutual respect there.”
Vegas will make their first trip to Long Island on Dec. 19, which would mark the first time Lehner has played against his former team on the Island. The game is sure to be a memorable one for both Islanders fans and Lehner.