Playing shorthanded is nothing new in hockey, but Robin Lehner discovered the hard way what it means to play short-footed.
Lehner’s skate blade fell out of his left skate twice in the second period during the Vegas Golden Knights’ 4-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round on Tuesday.
All’s well that ended well, but his old skates left him in a precarious position more than once and he couldn’t afford that again. On Wednesday, the Vegas goalie posted a photo of his new skates on Twitter.
“I was pretty frustrated,” Lehner said after the game. “That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. I had old skates for a while and have changed them. … I don’t know what happened there at first but you have to battle through it.”
Players’ skate blades come out unexpectedly from time to time, though it is a rare occurrence. And most of the time, they can hobble or slide back to the bench for a quick repair. But the goalie doesn’t have the option to leave the net while the game is ongoing.
Lehner played almost a minute without a left skate blade and even made three saves. After he got it put back in, it fell out again after he made a post-to-post save.
Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said after the game that he didn’t know until the mishaps took place that Lehner’s skates were four years old.
“For whatever reason he fell in love with this pair,” DeBoer said after the game. “Sounds like they just wore out.”
NHL.com staff writer Mike G. Morreale contributed to this story.