The nice thing about the Buffalo Sabres’ busy off-season is that the pressure is spread around pretty fairly … except maybe for Robin Lehner.
Big development gains can happen, of course, but the Sabres’ defense looks pretty shaky on paper.
Maybe they won’t be “historically inept” like last season, yet the smart money is on Lehner getting tested early and often. He’ll need to steel his nerves to the challenge.
Apparently he may also have to learn to shake off the abrasiveness of fans during tougher nights.
Lehner had a tough night on Friday, to the point that fans reacted with mock praise of a save, aka “the Bronx cheer.”
To his credit, Lehner admitted that it wasn’t a strong performance, as he gave up five goals through two periods before Buffalo made the score more respectable.
(Columbus beat the Sabres 6-4 by ending with an empty-netter.)
If any management group believes in Lehner, it’s GM Tim Murray, who watched the netminder during his assistant general manager days in Ottawa.
That doesn’t mean that Sabres fans will give him the same welcome.