Sabres' goalies have no problem with Ullmark being here

March 21, 2018 - 12:37 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Many feel like Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson are taking it personally that Linus Ullmark is up and getting starts.

Lehner was back at practice on Wednesday, but he still won’t start. Ullmark played against Nashville and Johnson gets the call tonight vs Arizona. Lehner said, “It’s not necessarily anything bad, I got into the league the same way and every goalie that gets into the league usually gets in this way.

“It happens every year this way, especially the situation we’re in, we’re out of playoff contention, Ullmark has done a great job down in the minors, he deserves to get a couple of games.”

Lehner got some NHL experience early in his career with Ottawa. “My first year when I was 19, 20 I did the same thing with Brian Elliott and Pascal Leclaire, it’s how it goes,” Lehner said. “I also think it’s important for management to see where a player’s at.”

With three goalies here, each gets less practice time. Lehner laughs at that, “I’ve played 50 something games so far, you don’t forget how to make a save. It’s fine, we have a lot of practices, a lot of games, it’s not an issue.”

Johnson is 6-2-0 in his last nine games played with a save percentage of .923. Johnson said he definitely doesn’t take Ullmark being here personal, “I’ve been in the league awhile now and I know where this organization is at right now and the time of year and the process of moving forward and evaluating players for next season, it’s just part of the game and that’s just the circumstances that I’m in and everybody here is in.”

Justin Bailey is getting an opportunity to play with Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo. Phil Housley said much of what you’ll see for the rest of the season is just getting looks at things, “We’re going to put guys in different positions just giving them an opportunity and see how they react.”

The rest of Wednesday’s lines:

 

Wilson  O’Reilly  Reinhart

Nolan  Rodrigues  Baptiste

Pouliot  Larsson  Pominville

 

Scandella  Ristolainen

Guhle  Falk

Beaulieu  Nelson

Gorges  Antipin

 

Sam Reinhart is 32nd in league scoring in 2018 with 31 points in 33 games.

If the Sabres beat the Coyotes, they’ll vault past Arizona and Vancouver to 29th in the NHL. The Sabres are 12-2-1 in their last 15 against Arizona including a 5-4 victory on the road in November.

Buffalo is 25-7-7 all-time at home against the Coyotes and the old Winnipeg Jets.

Arizona has lost two of its last three games, but are 12-5-2 since the pressure of playing meaningful games is over.

Rookie Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes in scoring with 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points in 72 games.

After a great rookie season, Max Domi has not been the same. He has just seven goals in 72 games.

Much of the goaltending has been handled by Antti Raanta. He’s 16-16-6 with a 2.41 goals against and .925 save percentage. He’s played two games since coming back from injury.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog at 6:00 for the pregame live from 716 as they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson.

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