The New York Islanders season ended in a loss Friday, but it was far from a failure, especially for Robin Lehner.
The Islanders goalie called the 2018-19 season one he'll never forget while also thanking New York's fans in a message on Twitter after a season-ending, 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round.
Lehner had a transformative season in his first with the Islanders, helping them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and a sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round. Lehner surrendered 15 goals in eight playoff starts and finished with a .936 save percentage in the postseason, but was pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots Friday.
He and Thomas Greiss won the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goalies on the team that allow the fewest goals, and Lehner was named a finalist for the Masterton Trophy and Vezina Trophy less than two weeks after celebrating one year of sobriety. He said after the Vezina Trophy nomination was announced that he was hoping to leverage the recognition into helping others struggling with mental health.