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Islanders' Lehner calls goalie collisions 'a problem around the league'

Islanders' Lehner calls goalie collisions 'a problem around the league'
Published On: Thu, Mar 14
May 8, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; iNew York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) checks Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) into the boards during the first period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Robin Lehner has channeled his inner Billy Smith.

Lehner was emerging as the Islanders starting goalie with the playoffs right around the corner when the Senatorsa€™ Brady Tkachuk came barreling down and railroaded him on March 5 at the Coliseum. It presumably gave Lehner a concussion, forcing him from that game and keeping him out until he returned to practice Wednesday.

But just like Smith, the sharp-edged netminder of the Islandersa€™ glory years, Lehner was none too pleased with a collision he deemed not only avoidable, but intentional, regardless of whether Tkachuk was pushed from behind by the Islandersa€™ Brock Nelson a€” which was the call when the collision resulted in the game-tying goal.

So the next time any player comes storming into the crease, starting with Thursdaya€™s Coliseum match against the Canadiens (when Lehner could be available but is more likely to back up), he might try to make sure he defends himself.

a€œGot to be honest, everyone always does it on purpose, which is fine. Ita€™s part of hockey,a€ Lehner said. a€œBut there are a few guys in the league who always do it intentionally on goalies. Theya€™re just brought up and taught that way. It doesna€™t matter if [Nelson] pushed on him or not, hea€™s coming into me, thata€™s just part of his game. Ia€™m just happy Ia€™m not out longer.

a€œIt happened towards my neck, and I was more worried about my knees. My left knee got put in a really bad position. Plays like that, all of sudden, you tear a knee and [your] career is over. Theya€™re the ones that do it. Ita€™s still part of the game. Maybe I need to brace myself more for next time. Next time someone comes in, Ia€™ll protect myself and wea€™ll see if they do it again.a€

Read the complete news article here...

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