Robin Lehner was back in action and had some moving words on mental health
We are back with another edition of Vegas Golden Knights Plays of the Week.
Every Monday, we will look at the best Golden Knights’ highlights from the past seven days. Be it a scintillating save, an end-to-end goal or a bone-crushing hit, it will be here.
The Golden Knights picked up three victories this week, extending their lead in the West Division.
Let’s look at some praiseworthy plays from the last few games.
Fleury’s Perfect Poke
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury continued his winning ways this week.
He posted a 2-1-0 record and .909 save percentage across three appearances.
During Monday’s game against the San Jose Sharks, the veteran netminder came up huge in a clutch spot. Up 2-0 midway through the third period, he stymied Evander Kane with a flying poke check that looked like it came straight out of NHL 2021.
“That was sick,” forward Max Pacioretty said after the game. “That dude is just the man.”
Pacioretty even said that he and Ryan Reaves have talked about buying the rights to a movie about their French-Canadian goalie.
When asked about that possibility, Fleury responded with “cancel it now.”
Personally, I think it would be a box office smash.
Reaves Nets His First
Wednesday’s game against the Sharks called for some dramatics. The Golden Knights found themselves down 3-1 heading into the last frame.
A furious rally saw them tie the contest at 3-3 before the aforementioned Reaves deflected a puck past Devan Dubnyk for his first goal of the season.
The Golden Knights held on for a 5-4 win, with Reaves’ tally serving as the ultimate shift in momentum.
The fan-favorite forward did not mince words when asked about the goal post-game.
Never change, Reavo.
A Familiar Face Returns
During Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, goaltender Robin Lehner returned to the net for the first time since Feb. 7.
The Swedish netminder turned aside 23 shots in the 4-2 victory, including this key stop on a Kings’ 3-on-1.
While Lehner’s on-ice play was a glorious return to form, perhaps his biggest impact came during post-game interviews.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, Lehner has been a vocal advocate for mental health awareness among professional athletes.
He has been open and honest about his own personal demons throughout his career. It is difficult to forget his moving speech in 2019 at The NHL Awards after winning the Masterton Trophy.
Well, following Friday’s game, he opened up again about the stigma surrounding mental health and the issues the assumptions create.
Athletes are human, just like everyone else. It is of utmost importance to change the stigma surrounding mental health in professional sports and greater society.
Lehner’s willingness to tackle these difficult topics is truly admirable. A great goaltender—and an outstanding role model.